Final Word from Friday, July 4, 2003

London is reeling because Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich took control of Chelsea soccer team. "Now you know how it feels," Czechs could say to their English friends. Most hotels in Karlovy Vary are already in Russian hands, according to Justice Minister Pavel Rychetský. This is only possible, he said, because for 12 years they've been able to come here and lay a pile of cash on the table without showing where they got it. Rychetský, Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda and other politicians who hold no small share of the blame for making this possible are now criticizing Russians (and Germans) for grabbing Czech assets. Euro reported that Milan Rusnák of GTS was likely cut from the running for CEO of Český Telecom because his company was bought by a Russian oligarch. Roman Abramovich might succeed in buying respect in London, but his compatriots in the CR aren't having it so easy.


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