Final Word from Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Senator Richard Falbr told the BBC that he fears the vote in Parliament on public-finance reform will be hijacked by those who want to bring down the government. There's a group from ČSSD and ODS, he said, that isn't happy with the current division of power and wants to use the reform vote to get key positions of influence or a piece of the privatization spoils. But when it comes to a final vote, he said hopefully, ČSSD members will unite to avoid the collapse of the cabinet and the loss of their jobs. Another possibility he didn't mention is that neither side will give in. The showdown over power and privatization booty could reach the point that the power-grabbers defeat the reforms as a way to improve their bargaining position. This wouldn't have to mean the end of the government, but it would bring a degree of uncertainty not seen in years.


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