Final Word from Monday, June 10, 2002

ČSSD Chair Vladimír Špidla mentioned several names on Fri. of potential ministers for his cabinet. The names themselves came as little surprise, because they were mainly of those who have long been considered "his" men and women (Stanislav Gross, Petra Buzková, Miloš Kužvart, etc.) as opposed to Miloš Zeman's (Jan Kavan, Petr Lachnit, Miroslav Šlouf, etc.). More of a surprise was the timing. It was nearly perfect. Špidla made the headlines with his young, mostly under-40, anti-Zeman team just one day before he faced Václav Klaus on TV Nova's "7" debate show. Klaus ended up sounding like a Zeman-era politician. Špidla, in contrast, presented himself as someone who can build on what was good (growth, stability, privatization, etc.) under Zeman and eliminate the bad (cronyism, intransparency, vulgarism, etc.). With only days to go, the momentum is now in Špidla's favor.


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