Final Word from Thursday, August 14, 2003

It's been rumored that Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda wants to become the CR's first EU commissioner, but his current pro-U.S. stance on key issues could be an obstacle. His position on Israel, for example, goes counter to EU policy. There's also the possibility that Svoboda wants to ingratiate himself to the Americans so they'll back him for Nato secretary-general. However, Svoboda's lack of military experience might be an obstacle. Another possibility is that Svoboda is defining himself in terms of his anti-Klausism and pro-Americanism in the hope that this will boost his chances of becoming premier in the next government. His party, KDU-ČSL, might again have the swing vote. The problem with this strategy is that President Klaus would have to appoint him to the post. Svoboda is clearly an ambitious man, but it's not yet clear where this ambition is taking him.


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