EC audit on Czech PM final
The European Commission has rejected Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s claim that the EC audit into his alleged conflict of interest, which arrived in the Czech Republic on Friday, is not final. A European Commission spokesman made it clear on Monday that the document is final and the Czech Republic has two months to respond to the EC’s recommendations. The audit, which has been sent to the Ministry for Regional Development, remains confidential.
However, according to the weekly Respect, which cites two independent sources, the EC’s final audit states that the Czech prime minister has a conflict of interest both under Czech and EU law and the Czech Republic may subsequently have to return some 450 million crowns in EU subsidies paid to his Agrofert business conglomerate.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš insists that he has fully adhered to the country’s conflict of interest law, by placing the multi-billion crown conglomerate he owns into trust funds. He said on Monday that the EC did not have the right to interpret Czech legislation and if the audit claimed he had a conflict of interest the Czech Republic would fight it.