Final Word from Monday, April 5, 2004

Aside from a few politicians from ODS, it seems that everyone is trying to keep a distance from Sazka. Bankers turned it down for a loan, the cabinet boycotted the new hockey arena, and the media are using every chance to knock the lottery giant. When we suggested last week that Sazka CEO Aleš Hušák was behind an article in Týden, Editor-in-chief Dalibor Balšínek objected. Maybe the article had some faults, he admitted, but neither Hušák nor anyone else can tell Týden what to write. Indeed, Týden ruffled Sazka's feathers today by reporting that Hušák wined and dined Jaroslav Bureš last week. Bureš, the No. 2 person on the government's powerful legislative council, has close ties to ODS. If ODS revives the "Czech way" mentality as part of its election campaign, Sazka will fit right into the mold. It's untransparent, has lots of money to throw around, and is 100% Czech.


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