Final Word from Monday, September 1, 2003

The expected removal tomorrow of Miroslav Kůla as CEO of Czech Airlines (ČSA) is being presented as a political decision guided by the desire to find a job for ex-Defense Minister Jaroslav Tvrdík. If this were the whole story, ČSA would lose a respected manager, but it would carry on. The whole ČSA board, though, apparently faces removal and, we are told, it has seen this coming for months. People close to the matter say the main issue is ČSA's fleet of airplanes. ČSA's current management is committed to US-made Boeings, and Vladimír Špidla's government is under pressure to shift to European-made Airbuses. Tvrdík's appointment is indeed a political decision, but it appears primarily to be an issue of EU-US U.S. politics. It would be bad business if this issue, no matter how important, were allowed to disrupt the operations of a successful company. European Union


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