Final Word from Friday, October 31, 2003

When the BBC asked Škoda Auto Chair Vratislav Kulhánek what he thought of the cabinet's reform plans, he said they're better than nothing. He could have rejoiced over the introduction of a Kč 900,000 limit on business write-offs of cars, but he didn't. That might have tipped his hand. Škoda is coming under heavy pressure from importers and will soon have to face a new domestic producer, and the Kč 900,000 limit is seen by some people in the industry as a made-to-order partial solution to Škoda's woes. Its Superb, priced around Kč 1m, suddenly becomes very attractive to managers. A dispute in the Senate this week over the wording of the bill could perhaps be a counter-lobbying effort from the law's detractors. The Kč 900,000 limit won't mean much to the state in terms of higher tax revenue, but it means a lot to the car industry and to some companies.


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