Final Word from Monday, April 29, 2002

Speaking on TV Nova's "7" debate show yesterday, ODS Chair Václav Klaus made his first significant public statement about the purchase of fighters from BAE Systems/Saab. He criticized the deal, saying the priority should be to reform the army. He added that when it comes time to buy fighters, who supplies them will be secondary. ODS and ČSSD have both came under attack over their motives, which perhaps prompted Klaus to speak up. Ivan Pilip of US-DEU charged, for example, that ODS was trying to help Lockheed or Boeing by pushing to delay the purchase. Pavel Kohout of PPF argued in Lidové noviny that money flowing into the accounts of specific individuals was the deciding factor behind the fighter contract. Petr Nečas of ODS defended both sides, saying he's confident that there's no corruption attached to the fighter deal.


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