Final Word from Thursday, February 13, 2003

Time for some more good news, a reader said. Prague Mayor Pavel Bém supplied it yesterday, when he gave an impressive talk to the American Chamber of Commerce. He also impressed patrons of BritCham last week. He said in excellent English yesterday that his goal is to improve the business climate (esp. for SMEs), encourage public/private partnerships, enhance Prague's place as a conference center, and twin it with Vienna for promoting tourism and business. He also questioned the huge budget overruns on Sazka's hockey arena. Bém took along controversial City Councilor Radovan Šteiner as his chaperon, highlighting the delicacy of his position. As lord mayor, his powers are limited, and he still has an old guard to deal with. But he talks a good game, and he's sure to win broad support from businesses if he can put his money where his mouth is.


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