Final Word from Thursday, November 1, 2007

If you stick your neck out for someone in Czech politics, your own head might get cut off. The climax of the Jiří Čunek I-am-not-a-crook scandal is reflecting badly on all of those who stood up for him. This includes PM Mirek Topolánek himself. Because Topolánek was so soft on Čunek before, he must now look double-tough. This same scenario might be playing out at ČSSD. In a startling radio interview on F1 this week, MP Lubomír Zaorálek vehemently defended Jiří Paroubek's "mysterious millions" by denying that there is any mystery at all. Usually when Zaorálek speaks of late, it's about foreign policy, and he does it with authority. By venturing into see-no-evil party politics, he lost a huge amount of credibility. If rumors of Zaorálek's ambition to succeed Paroubek as ČSSD chair are true, his eventual about-face on Paroubek will have to be even greater than Topolánek's on Čunek.[Czech Republic KDU-ČSL Frekvence jedna Social Democrats]


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