Final Word from Monday, April 7, 2003

Vladimír Špidla's government canceled the D47 highway Housing & Construction road contract last week and fired the Broadcast Council. Communist Party Vice Chairman Miloslav Ransdorf thinks Špidla is trying to distance himself from Miloš Zeman. But what he's more likely doing, an analyst told us, is sending a message to Zeman's people. They're only loyal to the deals Zeman brings them, the analyst said, not to the man himself. So if Špidla can remove the "pots of gold" linked to the D47 and other Zeman-era decisions, their loyalties will go elsewhere. The recent spy scandal in Prague could be linked to this. Analyst Martin Švehla said that if Špidla is truly using the BIS spy intelligence agency service to keep Minister Stanislav Gross on a leash, he might also be hoping that BIS will dig up something on Zeman. Špidla laughs at suggestions that he's playing spymaster but gets visibly nervous when forced to talk about it.


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