Czech coalition unsettled as questions hover over Stork’s Nest
Finance Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš is in hot water over the suspect drawing of EU funds for his Stork’s Nest farm and conference centre. Mr Babiš maintains that that the application for the funds was made by the farm’s previous owner, whom he refuses to name. An extraordinary session of Parliament called by the opposition is now likely to be held on the matter next Wednesday.
“There are really four key aspects to this. The first is whether the law was broken and although journalists generally tend to say that it has been broken, the prosecutor hasn’t said anything. So I think we need to be a bit hesitant in saying that something illegal has happened.
“The third aspect is the public. Mr Babiš has an amazing ability to get away with things, more so than other politicians in the Czech Republic and certainly far more than in Western countries. I think this time it is a bit more visible that the public is becoming upset about what is going on.
“And the fourth aspect is the coalition. He has got two coalition partners and in the past they have overlooked his conflicts of interest, but there are signs now that the Social Democrats are starting to be a little more weary of what’s going on. But again it is too early to say whether this is going to have a real impact on Mr Babiš political career.”