Final Word from Thursday, June 9, 2005

ČSSD has had two big setbacks recently - the collapse of the Gross cabinet and the defeat of the EU constitution - but ODS has failed to capitalize on either. ČSSD's approval rating is rebounding. If ČSSD had remained critically ill, a post-election coalition with ODS could have helped it to retain a grip on power but might have ruined it in the long-term (to the benefit of ODS and KSČM). A more-even coalition with ODS (where ČSSD has, say, 30-40% of the ministries) would give ČSSD a brighter political future but could spell the end of economic reform. ODS and ČSSD are so far apart on straight political issues that they might instead concentrate on the business of politics. Three areas they already see eye-to-eye on are national-interest procurement contracts, Olympic planning and antitrust probes. With privatization almost over, politicians need to find new revenue streams. [Czech Republic European Union treaty Stanislav Tatra Games Communists Party anti-trust competition office UOHS]


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