Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Czech crisis continues

They are not having much luck, those new member states. Perhaps, they should have stuck to their original idea, sabotaged by the EU, of forming a Central European Free Trade Association (CEFTA).

The new Czech Prime Minister, Stanislav Gross, has won the confidence vote required by the Czech constitution but only by bringing two sick deputies out of hospital to vote. One arrived in a wheelchair. Gross’s majority is one.

To make life more exciting, one deputy from the ruling coalition has announced that he had been offered a hefty bribe by the opposition Civic Democrats to vote against the government. This was angrily denied by the Civic Democrats’ leader, President Vaclav Klaus, who cast various aspersions on the said deputy’s veracity and reliability and threatened to sue him. The matter has gone to the police.

Meanwhile, the last Czech Prime Minister, who resigned because he did not feel he had sufficient support among his own deputies, has gone to that home of failed politicians: Brussels. Yes, unnoticed by the media, overawed by the amazing talent in Barroso’s new Commission [sic], Vladimir Spidla has become the Czech Commissioner. He is taking on a varied portfolio: Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

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