Czech PM, European Parliament lock horns
The European Parliament (EP) has passed a resolution ...
The European Parliament (EP) has passed a resolution calling for an end to funding to Agrofert, a business conglomerate of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, over alleged conflicts of interests. “(The EP) insists that further disbursement of funds, either from the EU or Czech national budget, to the companies ultimately controlled by Babis, or members of the Czech government must be halted until the cases of conflict of interests are fully resolved,” the EP resolution passed in June, said.
A majority of 505 MEPs supported the legally unbinding resolution, reports Xinhua news agency. Only 30 MEPs were against the resolution and 155 abstained from the vote.
Firms owned by Babis, which he insists were placed in trust funds and thus meet local legal obligations, are among the biggest recipients of EU subsidies earmarked for agriculture. An audit by the European Commission released in April concluded that Babis still maintained effective control over Agrofert, a conglomerate holding company headquartered in Prague, and was thus in conflict of interest. A fact-finding mission by the EP last year reached similar conclusions.
In response, the Prime Minister has accused Brussels of undue meddling in the Czech Republic’s internal affairs over the matter. “This is the continuation of the EP’s interference in the internal affairs of the Czech Republic. We are a sovereign country and a political struggle is going on here. The elections are approaching and the EP is attempting to influence them,” he added.