European Parliament heats up Czech Prime Minister over conflicts of interest
The European Parliament has called for an end to EU funding for Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis’ business empire over what he called conflicts of interest. Babis companies are among the main recipients of EU agricultural subsidies, mainly payments made to farmers per unit of land, but also investment subsidies paid by national authorities and repaid by money from the EU. He says he transferred his assets to trust funds, meeting his legal obligations.
The parliament’s resolution does not lead to any direct action but calls on the EU executive, the European Commission, to take a closer look at the situation and potentially even initiate proceedings that could stop funding for the Czech Republic. In Wednesday’s vote, 505 lawmakers backed the resolution out of the 690 participants, 30 were against and 155 abstained.
“(The EP) insists that any further disbursement of funds, either from the EU budget or from the Czech national budget, to companies ultimately controlled by Prime Minister Babis or members of the Czech government must be stopped until the conflict of interest cases are fully resolved, “the resolution says. A European Commission audit published in April determined that Babis still controlled the Agrofert group through trust funds and was therefore in conflict of interest.
Babis has built up a conglomerate of agricultural, chemical, media and other companies over the past decades.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)