Final Word from Wednesday, December 10, 2003

One of the main arguments for rethinking the coal privatization is the low price that it's expected to bring, due to the limited competition. A similar argument can be used in the case of the supersonic fighters. Another round of bidding could be useful for extracting better terms from the suppliers. People involved in the process say that most of the bidders are willing to put more on the table. There's an excess of fighters on the market, and the Czechs can use this to their advantage in negotiations. The cabinet, though, insists on a one-round bidding process. The favorite, Sweden, certainly has no reason to want other bidders to get a second chance, but even it would apparently be willing to offer more. Given the poor condition of the army and the state budget, there are legitimate concerns about whether the CR truly needs the fighters. If it's going to acquire them, it should do all it can to get the best deal.BAE Systems Lockheed Martin Severočeské doly Sokolovská uhelná

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