The Czech social democrats used to be a moderate workers' party. However, in the late 1940s, they merged with the communists: their party became a submissive component of the leading force of the totalitarian regime. The social democratic party was re-established after the Velvet Revolution - and Mr Miloš Zeman transformed it into the leading leftist political formation - but its legal continuity was questionable.
This question was rather important because the answer would decide about the assets of the old party - especially whether the social democrats regain the "Lidový dům" (People's House), a rather large complex of buildings in Prague. Social democrats didn't want to start from the scratch - as the Civic Democratic Party and many others had to. A prominent lawyer named Mr Zdeněk Altner defended the social democratic party and was able to win the case: "Lidový dům" became a property of the social democrats again in 2000 or so.
Altner has negotiated a pretty good contract with the social democrats: although his services were free if he would lose - an irresistable (and among good attorneys, unique) offer for Miloš Zeman et al. who were sure that they simply couldn't win - the party was ordered to pay him 93 million Czech crowns in fees in the case of success (1 USD is 21.50 CZK). However, left-wing parties typically only know how to steal money from others so they didn't try to speed up the payment too much. :-) But let me mention again: the contract was really good for Mr Altner! ;-)
With the prescribed sanctions and interests (0.3 percent per day), the social democratic party now owes more than 19 billion crowns, almost 1 billion U.S. dollars, to Altner! While this amount is insane, there exists no rational or legal way to question that this is the right figure. And he has just announced that he has no more patience with the out-of-court debates with the social democrats whom he no longer trusts and he's gonna work on their bankruptcy (in fact, he has already started in January).
Needless to say, Mr Jiří Paroubek, the chairman of the party, is trying to humiliate Mr Altner. Paroubek - a typical leftist leader - is convinced that the social democratic party has the right to steal one billion dollars from anyone whom the party officials declare to be unethical. It's pretty clear that they have simply believed for years that they would never pay Altner anything because a leftist party has the right to do anything with individuals. Paroubek now offers Altner 126 million crowns only - slightly less than 19 billion - and Altner answered that Paroubek couldn't possibly have been serious. ;-)
However, most of the leadership of the social democratic party finds it increasingly likely that Altner is gonna succeed simply because the contract seems to be pretty clear. Altner is already working on the police protection of other creditors - people who are currently hiding and who are afraid of a possible anger of the socialist thieves - which would allow him to publish their names and speed up the bankruptcy process of the social democratic party. Meanwhile, some of the social democratic leaders are already thinking about a new party. They would have to give up their exact name, logo, headquarters, funding assigned to parties for each lawmaker, and other details.
One billion dollars is a pretty good amount, isn't it? It would be great to prove that it's in fact the whole international left-wing movement that suffers from this debt, and to officially bring the global left-wing movement where it has morally been for a century or so - to bankruptcy. ;-) In fact, they are already working on this bigger project, too: Paroubek wants to unify his party with the Slovak SMER. I wish them to merge with as many leftist parties as possible. :-)