Final Word from Monday, July 4, 2005





Wirtschaftswoche magazine reported that the allegations of bribery at Škoda Auto could grow into one of Germany's biggest scandals. Those potentially involved, including Škoda Supervisory Board Member Peter Hartz, are close to Gerhard Schröder. In the CR, it's being treated as an isolated case involving a single foreign manager, although the question must be raised whether Škoda HR Director Helmuth Schuster could have done his deeds without local help. No one has said, for example, who the suppliers were who allegedly paid him bribes. As the scandal widens in Germany, perhaps we'll learn something more about business in the CR. Can corruption possibly be so widespread that it's prevalent in the CR's most-admired company? Or is the Schuster case more a warning to those foreigners who think being successful in the local environment means picking up its worst traits?[Czech Republic chancellor Schroeder business climate environment transparency]

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