Final Word from Thursday, November 15, 2007

In the new mafia movie "American Gangster," the hero cop is shunned by his crooked colleagues because he turned in $1m in dirty money that he found in the trunk of a car. "We'll be fucking pariahs," his angry partner warned him, and he was right. And therein lies one of Jan Švejnar's problems as candidate for president. Money-hungry Czech politicians have no idea if they can trust him to be dishonest. True, he apparently looked the other way at ČSOB when the bank paid a Kč 200m "consulting fee" to CAIB regarding a huge Česká pošta deal, but otherwise he's the picture of cleanliness. This isn't a reputation that has dogged Václav Klaus. His critics, in fact, credit him with allowing hundreds of billions of crowns in theft. Ten years ago, Švejnar said a top priority should be to resolve the issue of ODS's alleged secret bank account in Switzerland. The mere thought that the next president could reopen such issues is enough to make Švejnar an F-ing pariah in certain circles.[Czech Republic CA IB investment banking Czech Post effing]


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