Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Denník N: Andrej Babiš is prototype of bad politician

ČTK |
8 January 2018

Bratislava, Jan 5 (CTK) - Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who paid an official visit to Slovakia, his home country, on Friday, is a prototype of a politician that causes damage in both domestic and foreign policy, Slovak daily Dennik N writes.

Babis has been controlling his party, the ANO movement, as his own business for a long time, and now he is controlling the Czech Republic in the same way. He is likely to apply the commercial attitude in relation to Slovakia, too, the paper writes.

Babis is the personification of the dangerous interconnection of political, economic and media power in the Czech Republic, it says, adding that he is the prime minister, the leader of the strongest party, one of the richest entrepreneurs and the owner of big and influential media.

Slovakia would have been better off with a Czech prime minister whose name would not be Babis, Dennik N writes.

"The Slovak-Czech relations are traditionally wonderful. This is no cliche but a fact. This will not change with the new prime minister. They may even improve. Unfortunately, private business rather than a closeness of the two nations will be behind it more than usually," the paper writes.

Dennik N writes that Slovakia provided a tax exemption of 60 million euros to the Duslo Sala chemical plant which is part of the Agrofert concern several years ago. The former one-colour government of Robert Fico made the decision after amending legislation in a secret regime, the paper added.

Babis was the sole owner of the huge Agrofert concern. Last year, he had to transfer it to trust funds to comply with a new Czech law on conflict of interest.

Dennik N also mentions a court dispute over Babis's alleged collaboration with the former Czechoslovak communist secret police StB.

The Slovak Supreme Court and Interior Minister Robert Kalinak helped Babis in the dispute in which former StB officers said Babis did not knowingly collaborate with them, the paper writes. The case remains open as the Slovak Constitutional Court cancelled the verdict saying that Babis was listed as an StB agent unjustly.

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