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Issue No. 164 - March 6, 2000.
       By Goran Vezic
       By Jasna Bastic
       By Radenko Udovicic
       By Petruska Sustrova

 By Goran Vezic
Tihomir Blaskic, a general of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) who became chief commander of this military organisation of the Bosnian Croats in 1994, was convicted by the International court for war crimes comnmitted in the former Yugoslavia countries (ICTY) to 45 years of prison. The sentence judged him responsible for war crimes against Bosniak civilians in Croatian-Bosniak war in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1993-1994. He has already served four years -  it was 1996 when ex-commander of HVO voluntarily surrendered to the Hague court. The court promised him speedy and just trial. It was not expedient, there is a question of how just it has been.
Blaskic, a former Yugoslav army captain and an HVO general is a scapegoat for the politics which pushed him first to fight
Bosniaks - Moslems in mid-Bosnia and later extradicted him to the Hague. It became evident that Blaskic was a naive soldier who was sentenced in Zagreb, before Hague. Zagreb - intelligence services headed by Miroslav Tudjman, son of the late first Croatian president - convinced Blaskic to surrender four years ago. It was somewhat cunning - it was taken into account that Blaskic is the most innocent of Croatian culprits for war crimes comitted during 1993 and 1994 in Croatian-Moslem war. Blaskic enjoyed support of Zagreb and a status of national hero who succeeded in keeping military control over a Croatian enclave in mid-Bosnia, Lasvan valley. However, Blaksic didn't maintain his control over all Croatian military units. Some of them committed heavy crimes, like the one in the village of Ahmici when 116 civilians (children, women and old men) were killed in a day. Blaskic didn't order the massacre, but he was sentenced as objectively guilty. He didn't punish the criminals. He probably couldn't.

When Blaskic and his attorneys saw that there was heavy punishment looming ahead, Blaskic started to fight for his life and became more talkative about the subjects of his informatin and role of him and others in war with Bosniaks/Moslems. Since that
moment, Zagreb, president Tudjman and Croatian government have turned their backs on him and haven't given defense documents which could be positive for Blaskic. General became a scapegoat, abbandoned and without documents which could prove the guilt of others for deeds ascribed to him. Also, one of the HVO generals Milivoj Petkovic worsened Blaskic's situation in his court testimony.

Blaskic can still file a complaint. It seems that part of the process will be the most interesting. New Croatian government
promised to cooperate with the Hague court. Even the newly appointed Croatian president Stipe Mesic was a Hague witness,
which caused a Croatian media witch hunt against him. The turn was announced on 6th March by Croatian prime minister Ivica Racan. "We have found an extensive evidence in Zagreb about the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It casts a new light on the events, which have been blamed on Blaskic. According to the first insights, we can identify real executors who committed certain crimes like Ahmici. Former government possesed documentation but failed to give it to Blaskic's defence. This government will do otherwise, in compliance with our attitude that the truth, no matter what it is, should be made public" - said Racan,stressing that documentation calls into question arguments for verdict.
For now we can only guess what documents have been found, but - since the former government was hiding them - it is rather
certain that they could prove responsibility of now late president Tujdman and defense minister Gojko Susak, as well as other people from the former top Croatian political and military echelons. They accepted Milosevic's plan to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina and tried to implement it with ethnic cleansing.
In the war between Croats and Bosniaks, some military and paramilitary formations of Bosnian Croats were directly submitted
to political, not military structures. Croatian democratic union (HDZ),the leading party of Bosnian Croats, has been functioning as a sister branch of Croatian HDZ headed by Tudjman. During war with Moslems, chief of Bosnian HDZ was Mate Boban, a certain Hague candidate were it not for his early death. Boban was publicly saying that he is no HDZ B-H president but a mere executor of Tudjman's orders. After Washington Agreement, which created peace between Croats and Bosniaks, Boban was forced by American pressure to retreat from politics. He was suceeded by Dario Kordic, the man who is now awaiting his fate in the Hague prison and who will - if he ever talks- have a lot to say about the Zagreb role in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Croatian public is shocked with Blaskic's verdict that has been a bone in the troath also for the new government. Socialdemocrat - liberal government stressed several times that cooperation with the Hague is not a political but a judicial
issue. Drastic verdict against Blaskic is in Croatia considered to be politicly motivated. There are many who ask for evaluation of further cooperation with Hague court. They will have their foothold for as long as the most responsible persons for war and
slaughter in ex-Yugoslavia remain free. Until it happens, the verdict against general Blaskic will be just a revenge to war pawn
for crimes committed by the lords of war.

  By Jasna Bastic
A year after Rambouillet negotiations and NATO intervention in Kosovo, it is now possible to piece together at least some of the events that show that the negotiations in Rambouillet have been meant to fail and that NATO had an altogether different motives for intervention and subsequent placement of its troops on Kosovo than the so-called "humanitarian intervention" and aid for Albanian refugees.
The whole background behind the events in Rambouillet and the double documents that have formerly been unknown, according to current information, even to some Contact group members,  is now more or less well-known and was first published last year by Andreas Zumach, corespondent of a Berlin newspapers "Tages Zeitung" at the UN Geneva office. "Rambouillet was a manipulation. The way attacks on human rights in Kosovo were used as an argument in NATO propaganda, especially by German politicians, is a clear case of manipulation", claims Andreas Zumach. For the record, on
18th of February last year, USA middleman Christopher Hill handed Serbian delegation in Rambouillet a document that was different from then current document used as a basis for negotiations. According to the new document, NATO forces should have been allowed to position themselves on the whole territory of FR Yugoslavia and to have unrestricted access to all airports, sea ports, roads, etc., without any limitation. Serbian delegation was asked to sign the document the same day, which it refused. And that point was the key moment in negotiations, which failed after it.
It is certain that not only would the Serbian delegation, as it was, decline to accept such procedure presented in the form of
ultimatum and the document which practically means handing over its sovereignty to foreign troops, but the same would have done any other country. Andreas Zumach claims that two American journalists which reported from Rambouillet confirmed alleged statement of an American delegation member who said "we have placed such an obstacle in negotiations with Serbs that they would never be able to go over it". It was also published in American magazine "The Nation".
Americans knew very well that it was doubtful whether Serbian delegation would accept presence of NATO troops on Kosovo itself and were certain that Serbia would never allow NATO presence on the whole of its territory. It seems that the negotiations were meant to disable Serbian side to sign the agreement. In such way, NATO got legitimization for its military action, which was the real aim of Rambouillet, not just to punish Milosevic. "There is no doubt that the basis of agreement lies in NATO's leading force" - categorically stated Madeleine Albright on 21st February, in a CNN interview.
Also, general knowledge is that negotiators in Rambouillet used every diplomatic option before decision to use military
force, which Andreas Zumach claims to be untrue. "One thing is very clear for future record. If Germany and other western
government claim they have done everything they possibly could, they are simply lying. It is not true". Zumach adds: " On 4th of
August 1998 (during election campaign) Gerhard Schroeder visited Washington. There he met with president Clinton and Madeleine Albright. When they talked about use of force in Kosovo conflict, Schroeder said he would prefer to have a UN mandate for it. Albright countered, saying  'No, we cannot use UN for this under any circumstances'. " During Rambouillet negotiations, there was not even an attempt to talk about possibility of a UN mandate for military presence on Kosovo, nor on the possibility of any UN military troops to go there. Since the beginning, only one option has been open - NATO, which, as we have already cited Albright, couldn't have been brought into question.
Disregarding all problematic situation in Kosovo, where practically nothing is functioning yet, which is blamed on inefficient UNMIK, NATO is proclaimed the only true winner of this war thus becoming the only functioning security element that has
to exist further. By NATO intervention in Kosovo, UN have been definitely discredited as a factor which can stabilize crisis
locations with military force.
A question remains: why did the USA so eagerly want to exclude UN from military mission in Kosovo, and favored NATO instead? Was protection of human rights just an excuse for military intervention and were casualties of Albanian refugees manipulated so that NATO could have started its military mission in Kosovo?
Hard and immediate evidence for these doubts is building of a grandiose military airport in south-eastern part of Kosovo, near
Sojevo village, 3-4 kilometers far from Urosevac. Airport is built with exclusive USA troops, not NATO. Construction works at "Bondsteel camp", as Americans call the airport, started immediately after the arrival of NATO troops in Kosovo, mid-summer last year. There is no team of architect geniuses that would be able to prepare plans for building so big military airport and base in just a few days or months. Nor are there universal plans for airport base which could be used in every geographic and climate conditions. Plans for building this airport have existed earlier than when discussions about the need for presence of foreign troops in Kosovo ever started. According to our sources, plans for building bases on Kosovo were finalized in 1989, when it was clear that the communist regimes were imploding and Warsaw pact breaking apart. Investment worth hundreds of million US$ and over 750 acres of land occupied by American airport near Urosevac certainly won't be used only as living quarters 5000 American soldiers in their control sector in Kosovo.
Similarly, the kind of attacks against Yugoslav army and its infrastructure as well as insisting on complete retreat of both
Yugoslav army and Serbian police from Kosovo are certainly connected with disabling the Yugoslav army from maintaining its
presence on Kosovo and its possible endangerment of American and NATO military bases. UN mandate and placement of UN troops on Kosovo without military intervention would probably have meant further presence of YA in Kosovo, as was stated in the first negotiations' paper. A very important aim of NATO intervention was the building of the airport near Urosevac and bases on Kosovo, that are linked to a more wider geo-strategical concept and political interest than human rights of Albanian refugees. In such light, genius manipulation in Rambouillet becomes somewhat clearer. Violence and crimes committed by Milosevic's regime against Kosovar Albanians and media pictures of exiled persons and human tragedies served as an excuse and good motive to incline public opinion to accept military intervention of NATO and don't question it at all. That NATO spin doctors succeeded in their plan has been shown by the fact that NATO intervention was approved by most social-democrat and leftist parties and groups in Europe. They have been traditionally opposed to this military block.
According to all estimates, new Kosovo airport should replace airport and base in Aviano, north Italy. The reason for change of location shouldn't be looked for in financial obligations, taxes, complicated administration, and other obligations towards the
country where a base is located, although there is a great advantage in Kosovo since NATO can use its bases there for free,
has unlimited range of control and isn't responsible to any management there. Building airport with subterranean installations, launching pads etc. is far more important than can be deducted from the first sight, and judging by characteristics of the base and other indicators, there is a well-founded doubt that the base will even have nuclear arms.
The answer to the question - why Kosovo, not somewhere else - is found in geographic and strategic characteristics of this
region. Bases in Kosovo are much easier to defend than other bases in Turkey, Greece or Hungary. Bases in Turkey or Greece also mean a certain security risk due to possible terrorist attacks coming from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon or Palestine. Military airport and bases in Kosovo are easy to defend, well-connected with all major communication routes and, compared to others, the cheapest. In some dark scenarios estimates say that the radiation range, if attacks on Russia would come from bases in Kosovo, wouldn't reach most important European centers, and on the other hand, Russia couldn't strike Kosovar bases since radiation would expand to its territory. Also, Russia is surrounded by bases in Hungary, Turkey, soon Romania and Bulgaria, and that bases could intercept its missiles. In NATO slang, Russia and southeastern Europe are called "unfinished business".
Episode with intrusion of 200 Russian soldiers on Kosovo, when in the night between 10th and 11th of June Russians occupied
Pristina airport and a possibility of direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO which cost general Wesley Clark his position  arose, has shown that stakes are high. According to Russian newspapers "Komersant", the aim of the action has been to capture subterranean airport near Pristina. Russians have got their information from the Yugoslav government too late,
newspapers claims, when it was already clear that NATO troops would enter Kosovo. Russians immediately dispatched 200 soldiers stationed in Bosnia in a wish to prevent NATO from getting control of the airport and to probably secure their control sector in Kosovo. Russian army was ready to send 2.500 paratroopers as support to the airport units, but neither Bulgaria nor Romania allowed flyby of Russian airplanes loaded with paratroopers. That  was insisted by NATO officers in Brussels. Eventually, the whole action failed, and if the airplanes with Russian paratroopers had flown without permit, Bulgars or the NATO would probably have shot them down.
It is obvious that Kosovo has a very high geo-strategic importance for NATO and that its troops will stay there for a very
long time.  With bases in Bosnia and Kosovo, NATO now has complete control over Balkans as the most unstable region in Europe, but also strategically very important due to traffic connections with the Middle East. United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stressed the importance of Kosovo in Brooking Institution in April 1999: "This region is a major artery between Europe and Asia and the Middle East. Its stability directly affects the security of our Greek and Turkish allies to the south and our new allies Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic to the north". Explaining American interest in this region on another occasion, Madame Albright said: "(To understand why that is,) we need, as President Clinton has repeatedly argued, to consult the map. Kosovo is a small part of the region with large historic importance and a vital role to play in Europe`s future".
Control over Balkans means control over roads to Middle and then Far East , which is a very important reason fop military
protection of the shortest, cheapest and most easily defended roads leading from  Europe into Asian east and vice versa. Whoever controls this roads, including Morava-Vardar valley, controls general commerce and oil pipelines on Europe-Asia route, and that is one more step towards Caspian sea and rich oil platforms in that area. USA certainly want to maintain that control before the EU. Control of territory in, for example, still Montenegro or Bulgaria and Romania means connecting for the first time over land all countries members of NATO and geographic sphere of interest of Western Europe and Middle East. With the exception of Milosevic's Serbia as an isolated island, NATO now has a complete military control over the whole of Europe.
In any case, as a result of military intervention in Kosovo, USA definitely and efficiently secured their military presence in
Europe, and NATO come out of it as main instrument of the US in proving American leading role in Europe and world. Along the USA mostly profited Germany, which for the first time since WWII, really got rid of the burden of the past, stepped with its army outside its borders and proved that it is a new great force, not only in an economical, but also political and military sense.
At the end of Cold War, when Warsaw Pact was disbanded. NATO had to prove its new strategy, "crisis management". Strategic political aim of NATO was to prove its credibility at any cost. Exactly on its 50th anniversary,  came Kosovo - excellent chance for it, which basically didn't carry too much a risk. Disbanding NATO would have endangered leading role that the United States play in Europe, and every strengthening of UN as a truly decisive military and political factor of security in the world would have automatically included Russia and China into chain of command. The United States would have lost their decisive role. Even in NATO, American troops are under "ultimate command of American officers and president of the USA and supreme military commander".
United States consider Europe a partner, but also a possible competition, especially if we take into account strengthening of
EU (new member states, new mutual money, need for separate military forces, etc.) With Kosovo intervention, USA proved to EU that NATO is the only security institution that is functioning at the moment and that it is necessary to keep it further. Nobody talks or mentions permanent military UN forces . After debacles in Bosnia, UN and their role in military missions are no longer a discussion subject for anyone.
However, before UN failed, it had been systematically obstructed, mostly by USA, in the spheres of financing UN missions, its initiatives, staff and equipment. USA are among major debtors towards UN and have been blocking  for a long time creation of permanent UN quick response troops meant to act in crisis hotspots. USA are also blocking creation of UN department for preventive diplomacy. Also, USA didn't sign the document about creation of permanent international crime court, together with only 6 other countries, while 102 states have already signed it. NATO officials have publicly proclaimed that intervention of NATO forces doesn't need to be backed by UN mandate and have thus completely discredited world organization that was created after WWII to be a guarantee of world peace and stability. Public have already completely accepted that the UN cannot grapple with crisis situations and that NATO, led by USA what is always stressed by them, the only functioning instrument of security in Europe and world. We can only try to discern earnings of American military industry, since all NATO member countries have to apply to standards set by USA with its sophisticated equipment and technology, which other members have to buy from US.
 By Radenko Udovicic
On April 8th, local elections are to be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although authority of Bosnian municipalities are only minor and mostly deal with local relationships and infrastructure issues, the importance of the elections is huge. They will, in fact, reflect current political situation in the country and indicate popular sentiment before general elections which will be held in September. International community doesn't try to hide the general elections will finally change power of national parties in Bosnia and Hercegovina and make road for true democratization. However, before it comes, estimates say that IC needs to "pave the way" in numerous Bosnian towns where present authorities control everything that happens. Many cases have shown that the biggest pressure on media and other institutions is made on a local level, by ***** city mayors and other local lords, far from international institutions. That disables creation of a democratic atmosphere that is necessary for radical changes on  a national level.
Traditionally, many political parties will participate in the elections - as much as 68, seven coalitions and 17 independent candidates. As all previous elections, this one is also organized by OSCE, an organization which used its authorization and disqualified two parties. Both belong to extremely right option - they are Serbian patriotic party  (SPAS) and Serbian radical party (SRS). Many that disqualification, especially of SRS; has been a risky move since SRS is an extremely popular party. United in a coalition with Serbian democratic party (SDS), it enjoys government in half territory of the Serb Republic (RS). The party was disqualified after it had made many insulting statements towards international community and rejected some Dayton accord provisions. However, SRS peacefully, which is rather strange, accepted its disqualification, commenting that "Bosnia and Herzegovina is occupied by international community and it is an honor not to participate at quisling elections".On the other hand, SRS' coalition partner SDS is participating in local elections and seems more ready than ever before to cooperate with international community. Estimates say that SRS voters will vote for SDS in order to prevent abstination of Serbian voters and thus prevent Bosniaks from Serbian republic to achieve majority in some municipalities. Although there have been no serious polls, analysts think there should be no significant changes on a local level. However, current clash within SLOGA Coalition with Socialist party on one, and Dodik's socialdemocrats and Plavsic's SNS on the other side, could have a  negative impact strengthening SDS positions, which would make work hard for prime minister Dodik. Also, strengthening of SDS would not be met with approval among the representatives of international community who consider that party nationalist, despite certain positive change of course towards acceptance of Dayton accord.
On the other hand, power in almost all municipalities of Federation B-H is divided between Bosniak SDA and Croatian HDZ. The only exceptions are Tuzla, second largest Federation city where governs Socialdemocrat party (SDP) and Velika Kladusa, led by monolithic Democratic national community founded by Fikret Abdic, former Bosniak separatist. SDP enters these elections with great expectations, encouraged by opposition victory in Croatia. That the struggle between SDA and SDP will be fierce has been shown by beginning of election campaign. SDA president and Bosniak member of tri-partite B-H presidency, said in Sarajevo at the first election rally of his party, that "SDA opened an era of  reedom in this country". "We have destroyed totalitarianism and introduced democracy" - stated Izetbegovic, saying to opposition Socialdemocrat party that it exists only thanks to democracy of SDA. As highest achievements of his party, Izetbegovic mentioned defense of Bosnia against aggression, creation of Army B-H and Dayton peace. Izetbegovic also added that SDA created an identity of Bosniak people which has not existed during Tito's Yugoslavia. Statements made at SDA's first election gathering stirred political response.
Socialdemocrat party reacted immediately, accusing Izetbegovic's speech as a proof that SDA privatized the state and collected all national values. In its leading commentary, opposition daily newspapers Oslobodjenje accused "Young Moslems", once led by Izetbegovic, for collaboration with fascists during WWII. "At the time of struggle for bare survival of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bosnian nation, Izetbegovic and his Young Moslems discussed pan-Islamic ideas while thousands of Bosniaks bled and died in partisan resistance movement" - wrote Oslobodjenje.
It is therefore clear that the struggle for power will also deal with values from near, as well as distant past. Although SDP is partly multi-ethnic party since it also has its supporters among some Serbs and Croats living in parts of Bosnia with Bosniak majority, it is clear that this party will chiefly fight over Bosniak votes and that is opposed only to Party of democratic action (SDA). Serbs in the Serb Republic don't support multi-ethnic parties, and similar is on territory where Croats have a majority.
Although SDP nominated its candidates in thirty municipalities in the Serb Republic, current estimates say that the number of votes it will get there is insignificant. A reason for it could be found in the fact that some leaders and members of SDP support revision of Dayton Accord and have never truly accepted Serbian republic. Such views are met with resistance among population in RS, who are scared that Serbs would be minorized by the loss of  their entity.
Among Croats in Bosnia and Hercegovina, HDZ is still ranking best, despite election defeat in Croatia. Croatian opposition
parties were completely defeated at the last elections, and current analyses still show their support is not great. However,
domination of HDZ could be eliminated by faction led by JadrankoPrlic, minister of external affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Neven Tomic, vice-president of the Bosnian government. Although both issued formal denials against rumors that they were about to leave HDZ, they want to make democratic transition within the present party. However, sources close to the two politicians claim that, if the transformation fails, Prlic and the so-called liberal faction will start a new party. Such a possible division is too late for the local elections, but many take it into account for general elections in September.
In Federation B-H another possible relevant political power is Party for B-H led by Bosnian former vice-premier Haris Siljadzic. This party is still forming a coalition with SDA, although it decided to be alone in some municipalities' elections. According to polls conducted by newspapers Slobodna Bosna, popularity of the Party for B-H, especially its president Silajdzic, is growing. It is interesting that Silajdzic is one of the fiercest supporters of the revision of Dayton Accord, claiming that the document's form presents obstacle to normal functioning of the state. Siljadzic even suggested postponing local elections since, he said, elections will not bring any changes, but will cement national division of Bosnia and Hercegovina. However, the proposal wasn't backed by any political party, or the national community.
Local elections are also important for integration of Bosnia and Hercegovina into Europe. In mid-April, Council of Europe will be deciding whether to accept B-H or not. Bosnia was given several conditions regarding democratization, respect of human rights, adoption of tax and customs laws as well as adoption of permanent Election law, which hasn't been done yet. However, Europeans don't hide their  support for present left opposition in Federation B-H and ruling Coalition "Unity" (Sloga) in Serbian Republic, which they want to strengthen. European Union have been sending signals that only such political government in Bosnia and Herzegovina can make the country enter Council of Europe. However, due to only partial fullfilment of all conditions necessary to enter that institution, Bosnia can hardly enter CE in April, even with the new authorities. However, it is clear that the old don't want to fulfil set tasks.
 By Petruska Sustrova
 During the past week the media and the public in the Czech Republic have been observing a scandal: Jan Kollert, Director of
Commercial Bank, one of the biggest finance institutions in the land, was forced to resign his post after less than two years in office. This alone would not have aroused the indignation of public opinion. People are furious that under the terms of a contract, signed when he took up his post, he is due to collect severance pay, called "the golden parachute" - amounting to several million crowns. The exact sum has not been made public: There is, however, talk of between fifteen and thirty million crowns, in other words, approximately between half a million and one million dollars. Politicians comment this, furious listeners phone to radio  talk shows, readers are writing letters to newspapers.  The Prime Minister of the Czech social democratic government made the following tactless remark: "We shall simply refuse to give Mr. Kollert all that money, let him go to court if he thinks he is entitled to it."  However, soon one of his advisers with a higher legal awareness, pointed to the clumsiness of such a remark, so that the Prime Minister somewhat mitigated his statement. Even commentators maintain that contracts must be honoured, and wonder how such a contract could have been signed in the first place.
But why did such an extraordinary discussion even arise? And why did politicians at the top echelon get involved? After all, politicians must be aware that contracts of this kind are quite normal, that top managers of major finance institutions are well paid and secure should they have to leave their position. The main problem lies in the fact that in the past Commercial Bank granted a large number of irretrievable credits. Now the bank is at long last on the eve of its privatization but if the Czech government is to find someone interested in this finance institution, the latter would first have to put its house in order. The government already agreed to rescue Commercial Bank financially so that it becomes fit for marketing. The critical credits are to be transferred to Consolidation Bank which the government (at the time a right-wing government under Vaclav Klaus) set up precisely  for this purpose. However, it soon became evident that the sum, burdening Consolidation Bank after a transaction, will reach possibly as much as sixty thousand million crowns. This is roughly one-tenth of the state budget: in other words, Commercial bank was run in a truly foolhardy manner.
It should be pointed out that the management of the bank was corrupt not only when it was run by Jan Kollert but even long before; a number of  credits beyond retrieval  date back to the early 1990s. It must, furthermore, be recalled that Commercial Bank is not the only big Czech bank with state assets, bedeviled by similar problems. The Czech government recently privatized the Czech Savings Bank (or rather, completed the privatization, that is to say, it sold off its package of shares to the Austrian Erste Bank which decided to enter the Czech Savings Bank as a new majority owner), where the majority of Czech citizens have their deposits. The Czech Savings Bank, too, had to be rescued prior to its sale; in this case, Consolidation Bank took over the burden of bad credits to the tune of ten thousand million crowns. And it now transpires that this financial injection was not sufficient to solve all the problems - the new owner points out that almost 40% of all credits of the Czech ngs Bank falls into the category of classified credits (credits where it is not certain whether it will be possible to retrieve them from the debtor). But the contract on the sale contains a formulation under which Erste Bank will be able demand of the Czech state to take over once again these credits - that is to say, Consolidation Bank.
A simple addition of all data published in the press tells us that up till now the Czech state had to rescue the banks privatized only in part (and under bad management) with the total sum of 300 thousand million crowns - e.g. thirty thousand crowns per head of population, including newborn babies. The average income in the Czech Republic is slightly above 12,000 crowns (approx. 350 dollars). A newspaper commentator had this to say on the subject: this money would be sufficient to build 300,000 cheap flats, in other words, a decent large town.
But let us come back to Jan Kollert, to his "golden parachute", and to the question why even politicians are interested in it. If we remember the state in which Czech banks find themselves, we shall no longer be surprised: for example, why the major banks have not been privatized a long time ago, so that today, ten years after the collapse of communism, the state would not have to make up for their financial mismanagement. All three coalition parties, making up Klaus's governments (1992-1997), had the privatization of finance institution in their programmes, and they would now have to explain why it in fact never took place. The social democrats, in  turn, would have to explain why they did their best to stifle every debate on the privatization of banks with the participation of state assets, claiming that "the Czech national silver was being sold off". (They maintained this position almost to the day they formed the government in the summer of 1998). The Czech National Bank wou ve to explain why it supervised the Czech banking sector so inadequately, although this is precisely what it is supposed to do under the law. And the entire political summit, without any exception, would have to explain why it did nothing to change the management of the Czech National Bank which, when it came to supervision, failed to carry out its duties under the law.It goes without saying that no one feels like indulging in that kind of explanations: the parties do not want to admit their mistakes, or a simply afraid of losing their voters. Under those circumstances, it is far easier to claim to the public that the most important problem is to spend a few millions on the "golden parachute" for Mr. Jan Kollert and push all substantial issues to the background.