Babiš suggests Czech involvement in drafting of damning EU report

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has described a European Commission preliminary report suggesting that he is in conflict of interest as “highly irregular”. The document, published by Czech media outlets on Friday, says that he has command of trust funds that control the Agrofert group.

Mr. Babiš told the Czech News Agency that the Commission had last year referred to European law in connection with his links to Agrofert but was now pointing to Czech legislation.

The prime minister suggested the section of the new report referring to the country’s conflict of interest law may have been written by Czechs. The arguments used were the same of those of the Czech Pirate Party and Transparency International, he said.

Mr. Babiš later tweeted that an “informer” was behind the report, adding that no money would be returned.

The European Commission says that all EU subsidies received by Agrofert since February 2017 should be returned. It put the figure that the Czech state should seek back from Agrofert at CZK 450 million.

In a separate matter, the police have recommended that Mr. Babiš face criminal charges of abusing CZK 50 million in EU subsidies in connection with a hotel and conference centre near Prague.

Author: Ian Willoughby