Final Word from Thursday, August 30, 2007

Before the elections, when mud was slinging in all directions, there was a debate about whether ODS would be any better than ČSSD in terms of transparency and accountability. The conclusion of many in the business community was that ODS would be just as bad in this respect, but that the trickle-down effect of government policy would at least be better under ODS. It's still too early to rate the trickle-down effect of the reforms, but the disregard for transparency is turning out to be even more blatant than under ČSSD. A few glaring examples: The ČEZ share float, the sale of ČSA Cargo, the purge at CzechInvest, the Čunek exculpation, the EU-funding fog, the impending Budvar sale. Asked by TV Prima how he wants to be remembered, PM Mirek Topolánek said "as someone who turned around rather negative trends." At least in terms of transparency, he's going in the wrong direction. [Czech Republic European Union flotation untransparency intransparency corruption]


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