Final Word from Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Comparisons of Stanislav Gross with the CR's four other premiers are a dime a dozen. Gross has little foreign-policy background, we've heard repeatedly from the media, and he risks causing an embarrassment with his lack of a foreign language. He's also young and has little real-world experience. But probably the biggest difference is actually in the area of corruption. Each premier has faced suspicions of unethical behavior in office. There was Klaus and the alleged ODS Swiss bank account; Tošovský and the IPB and Aero deals; Zeman and the D47 highway and Bamberg affairs; and Špidla's go-along on the fighters. In each case, though, these were doubts that arose only after the premier took office. Never has a Czech premier been so tainted by allegations of corruption before he ever even took office. In this respect, Gross is truly unique among his peers. Václav Josef Miloš Vladimír Vodochody Boeing Gripens BAE


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