Radio Prague International english.radio.cz 11 Jun, 2021 13:00 am

MEPs push Brussels to flex muscles over Czech PM’s conflict of interest, subsidies

MEPs push Brussels to flex muscles over Czech PM’s conflict of interest, subsidies
MEPS have voted to issue proceedings against Andrej Babiš for breaches of EU law due to his alleged conflict of interest. It could spur the EC to take punitive action.

06/11/2021 Members of the European Parliament on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to issue proceedings against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš for breaches of EU law concerning long-standing allegations of his conflict of interest.Last April, Brussels concluded in an extensive audit that the Slovak-born billionaire Andrej Babiš had breached both Czech and EU conflict of interest legislation in regard to Agrofert, the chemical and agricultural conglomerate he founded back in 1993, decades before entering politics.Tomáš Zdechovský | Following the vote, MEP Tomáš Zdechovský of the opposition Christian Democrats, told Czech Television that the impetus to investigate the conflict of interest came largely from then independent Senator Wagenknecht, who served under Andrej Babiš during his time as finance minister and specialised in financial management and auditing.For his part, Andrej Babiš has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, telling journalists this week that the European Parliament resolution represented its continued intervention in Czech internal affairs, and accused MEPs of trying to influence the country’s parliamentary elections set for October.

The European Parliament’s non-binding resolution, designed to heighten political pressure on other EU institutions and the Czech Republic itself, supports that audit’s conclusion.“The other thing is that whether it concerns Babiš, or Orban or Erdogan, the European Parliament tackles problems when they arise.

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