Final Word from Thursday, July 1, 2004

Vladimír Špidla will tender his resignation today, and he said his cabinet has nothing to be ashamed of. The CR is in better shape than it was when his cabinet took over, he said. He mentioned EU entry and the handling of the floods as two big successes, but we'll go a step farther and praise Špidla for two other feats. First was the role he played in weakening the power of the big-country bloc in the EU. The CR will need to fight harder for its interests than it did prior to accession, and Špidla's performance at the recent summit was inspiring. Second was Špidla's role in promoting cross-party collaboration on such domestic issues as bankruptcy and commercial-registry reform. These aren't glamorous issues, but they're crucial to the business community. If they get lost in the coming months, a certain nostalgia for the good old Špidla days might set it.


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