Final Word from Friday, September 26, 2003

The government will likely win a confidence vote in Parliament today, and some political commentators are saying the entire exercise is a waste of time. Others note that Vladimír Špidla has had to make numerous compromises and promises to hold his government together. Thorns in his side such as Jitka Kupčová, Miloš Kužvart and Vladimír Laštůvka have been bought off with jobs or other favors. And this is precisely the strategy of the "privatizers," the ODS-led, cross-party group of MPs who want to bring down Špidla. Calling for a confidence vote is part of a plan to weaken Špidla gradually. Eventually, the theory goes, he'll run out of favors to give, and his position will then become untenable. The privatizers are also expecting Špidla to compromise himself so much that at some point, the public will accept that anyone else would be an improvement.


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