Final Word from Wednesday, September 10, 2003

A rough calculation shows 300 billion reasons for the Vladimír Špidla government to fall in the coming weeks. That's about the amount, in crowns, that's at stake in privatization deals, debt sales, arbitration settlements, airplane purchases and other profit-making opportunities involving government decisions. The importance of cold, hard cash in the decision whether to support public-finance reform is growing by the week. Sen. Richard Falbr first talked about it as a worrisome issue a month ago. The naming of Jaroslav Tvrdík as CEO of ČSA has now brought it to the fore. ("How big will the payoff be on the purchase of airplanes?" Jan Macháček asked in MFD Dnes today.) The naming of a new government stocked with "economists" from ČSSD and ODS would shift focus toward revenue generation. This might not be all bad, if it meant that key decisions finally got made. corruption


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