Final Word from Monday, July 26, 2004

Vladimír Špidla led his party to a dismal result in the EU elections, but he's being moved upstairs to the CR's top international position. He accepted Stanislav Gross's offer on Fri. to replace Pavel Telička as the CR's European commissioner in Nov. Špidla was becoming too much of a risk for Gross. Špidla had started criticizing the cronyism at ČSA, for example, and had raised doubts about the work of some of Gross's lobbyists. This could have jeopardized Gross's privatization plans. Špidla, with his poor English, isn't entirely prepared for work in the Commission, but that didn't bother Gross, who isn't prepared for his job either. Špidla will probably end up making a good socialist Commissioner, but his appointment will reinforce the belief in the CR that politics is business, that failure is rewarded, and that Gross won't try to improve the situation. ČSSD


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