Final Word from Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Several readers told us that if Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda sees himself as the next president, he has a lot of work ahead of him. He doesn't even have the clear backing of his own party, KDU-ČSL, one reader said, and he might lose his position as party chairman this fall. Furthermore, it's unlikely that ODS will let him keep the foreign ministry if the two parties form a coalition after the elections. Another reader said Svoboda isn't presidential material. Erik Tabery of Respekt said Svoboda has been a good foreign minister in terms of his deeds but lacks communication skills. Instead of chastising Václav Klaus for arguing that the CR would lose some its sovereignty upon EU accession, Tabery said, he could have explained how the opposite is true. Svoboda stressed several times yesterday on the Czech BBC that his dispute with Klaus is about foreign policy and isn't personal. His words suggest that it's all about his own career.


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