Final Word from Tuesday, May 21, 2002

CEO Jiří Balvín of Czech Television was charged last week with two crimes related to the purchase of a broadcast van from ČNTS, and many people think the timing was too much of a coincidence one month before the elections. Few people, though, are publicly willing to a point finger. Commentator Pavel Verner of Právo, speaking on Czech Radio, perhaps came closest. He indicated that a certain political party arranged the scandal. He might have had either the Coalition or Naděje (Hope) in mind. Balvín is seen as a product of Václav Klaus and Vladimír Železný, and sidelining him could give the parties some media influence in the weeks ahead. It's interesting that Železný chose to stand up for Balvín. He could have used the scandal as an example of how his enemy, ČNTS-CME, does business, but he didn't. The elections are more important.


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