Allegations that PM had his son abducted

The son of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has caused uproar by claiming he was abducted in Russia-annexed Crimea at his father's behest in a bid to prevent him from giving evidence in subsidy fraud investigation against the Babiš family. Is the Czech Republic slipping into a government crisis?

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Denník N (SK) /

Dangerous for the government

Babiš's coalition partners knew who they were teaming up with when they formed the government, comments Dennik N:

“The suspicion that the prime minister had his son carried off to Crimea to prevent him from testifying turns this case into a classical family tragedy. The involvement of Babiš's children in the affair is nothing new. Babiš himself implicated them by putting the 'Stork Nest' resort, which was involved in an imbroglio over EU subsidies, in his family's name. The prime minister's coalition partner knew of this. Now they're also implicated in the affair and face the choice between two nasty scenarios: it's by no means certain that they would survive fresh elections. But if they continue to stand by Babiš it could cost them just as many voters. They have been Babiš's accomplices for too long.”

Denik (CZ) /

Prime minister too much of a liability

The Czech opposition is right in trying to topple the Babiš government although the real problem is the prime minister himself, Denik believes:

“The decisive factor will be the attitude of the Social Democrats, who have formed a coalition government with Babiš. That said, the country is flourishing under this government as it has never done before. So the only answer can be that while there's no reason for the government to collapse, the same doesn't go for Babiš. Yes, he's a charismatic leader, but the time has come for him to resign. Only outside politics can he still save face.”