Final Word from Friday, June 18, 2004

Václav Klaus has had a very ceremonial June. He's received ambassadors, named a judge, attended Reagan's funeral, traveled to Normandy, mourned the destruction of Lidice and wished George Bush Sr. a happy birthday. Important, but not earth-shattering events. His biggest challenge yet could come soon if Vladimír Špidla is forced out as premier. When Klaus was "assassinated" in late 1997, Václav Havel installed his own private interim cabinet. How Klaus handles the Špidla situation will be crucial for underlining the difference between his own wreath-laying presidency and Havel's. Klaus will want to avoid any hint of Havelistic intrigue. The best solution would perhaps be for Klaus, Špidla and the other major players to agree on the orderly handover of power. Špidla, for example, could be offered the EU commissionership if he'll go quietly. Sarajevo assassination


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