Czech Republic taking European Commission to court over halting of subsidies for Agrofert

The Czech Republic is taking the European Commission to the European Court of Justice over the freezing of subsidies to Agrofert Holding, Deník N reported. The government approved the lawsuit proposed by the minister of agriculture, Miroslav Toman, on Monday, the news site said.

The subsidies were halted over the possible conflict of interest of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who founded Agrofert. He put the huge company in trust funds but European Commission audits said that he still had control over it.

The deadline for filing the action will expire next Monday, 10 February. The government wants to take the matter to court despite the fact that last week representatives of the European Commission reportedly said during talks with Czech officials that it would eventually reimburse all Agrofert companies’ projects except one costing CZK 1.6 million.

Responding to this, a Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson said it was taking the matter to court as a matter of principle.

Author: Ian Willoughby