DEMOCRATIC REFORMS have taken firm root and flourished in the Czech Republic, but they can hide rotten or unhealthy elements - from the arrogance of power attributed to the dominant Civic Democratic Party (ODS) to a widespread belief that everyone is just out for his or her own gain. Opposition leader Milos Zeman long ago termed this atmosphere "Wild West" capitalism, where anything goes in the rush to get rich and the only sin is to point out that the new emperor has no clothes.

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