SAIF: PM's conflict of interest cannot yet be confirmed or denied

Officials from the Czech State Agricultural Intervention Fund (SAIF) say that negotiations into whether Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis is in a conflict of interest or not have so far been inconclusive. The announcement came at a press briefing following Tuesday‘s discussions between representatives of the European Commission and the Czech state about the results of an EU audit sent to the Ministry of Agriculture regarding a potential conflict of interest that Mr Babiš may have due to his position as head of government while also allegedly controling Agrofert, the company he founded, through trust funds. The Czech prime minister insists there is no conflict of interest.

According to SDIF director Martin Šebestyán, the European Commission has approved sending funds to all Agrofert projects except one enterpirse which called for a contribution worth CZK 1.6 million.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture Jiří Šír said at a briefing on Wednesday that negotiations are confidential and detailed information cannot be disclosed, but stressed that the audit results are not yet final.

According to Mr Šír the European Commission now has a month to look into the results of the negotiations. The final audit should then be presented after a further six months.

Author: Tom McEnchroe