EU takes aim at Czech PM again
The EU Parliament has once again criticised conflicts of interest in the case of Czech prime minister and multi-billionaire Andrej Babiš. It stresses that his former holding company Agrofert, with which he is still associated today, receives more EU subsidies than any other in the Czech Republic. Anyone who makes political decisions on the allocation of funds should not profit from them as an entrepreneur, it argues. Commentators from the Czech Republic and other countries examine the issue.
Babiš becoming a liability for the country
The weekly Respekt can well understand the EU's criticism:
“Whereas at home Andrej Babiš's position is almost unshakable, other standards apply in Brussels. The prime minister was initially seen as an interesting, confident newcomer and businessman who is fluent in several European languages. However it quickly became clear that the Czech prime minister was unable to offer a common set of values on which other leaders, particularly from the liberal group - to which Babiš's ANO movement belongs and with which the prime minister most often communicates, alongside Visegrád Four - could build a political alliance. ... Relations between Babiš and the EU are getting worse and worse.”
A problem for Slovakia too
Slovakia should also follow the Babiš case closely, warns Sme:
“The Slovaks also contribute to the subsidies, and thus to Babiš's profits. The oligarchic system in the Czech Republic - a key country for Slovakia - has led to a distortion of democracy, it poses a threat to the fairness of political competition and restricts media freedom. Babiš's oligarchic democracy is different, but just as dangerous as the illiberal democracy in Orbán's Hungary or Kaczyński's national authoritarian system in Poland. In recent years Slovakia has developed into a bourgeois island, but it is threatened from all sides by the increasing authoritarianism.”