Final Word from Thursday, June 6, 2002

President Václav Havel told the BBC this week that the process of selecting a new prime minister could take up to a month. Two main questions arise. Will Havel have the strength to carry out protracted negotiations himself, and what would a one-month delay do to the crown? On the first count, history suggests that Havel might want to turn some of the tedious negotiating work over to a member of his staff or to a trusted follower, perhaps someone like Prof. Jan Švejnar. On the second count, analyst Markéta Šichtařová of Volksbank said that a delay of up to a month wouldn't affect the crown. But if negotiations took longer than this, she said, the currency could drop to Kč 31/euro. Havel clearly favors a ČSSD-Coalition government. If the voters and the politicians make his job easy, investor confidence will not likely be put to the test.


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