Final Word from Tuesday, July 22, 2003

IT Minister Vladimír Mlynář can't get any respect, not even from Respekt, the weekly newspaper he used to run. For months, Euro and others have been writing about his habit of appointing friends to state jobs, including such plum positions as board seats at Český Telecom. Euro said he was also behind a $1-2m consulting contract for Pedro Pick, who helped him raise campaign money. MFD gave Mynář a "C" in June for the way he handled a secret meeting about the sale of Eurotel to Telecom. His latest troubles were caused by MF Dnes's revelation that Telecom financed his jaunt to the film festival. Respekt condemned this and said he had done the very thing he had criticized as a journalist. The irony of Mlynář is that he was brought into politics by ex-Premier Josef Tošovský because of what he stood for as editor of Respekt, and now Respekt has disowned him.


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