Sunday, 29 November 2020

Politics

Czech PM Andrej Babiš: a billionaire survivor under pressure

Financial Times |
2 July 2019

Within the space of a few days Andrej Babiš, Czech prime minister, has faced down the protests of more than 250,000 of his countrymen — the biggest unrest in 30 years of the post-Communist era — and survived a confidence vote in parliament. Here are the origins of the popular anger over Mr Babiš and the likely direction of events.

Investigation on corruption case at Brno-střed town hall brings up new name

Brno Daily |
2 July 2019

A large corruption case around allegedly manipulated public contracts at the Brno-střed Town Hall has been so far connected to Brno's entrepreneurs and former members of the ANO movement, headed by the former deputy mayor for investment, Jiří Švachula. The latest person accused is an influential ODS party politician, representative of Brno-sever district Jiří Hos.

Emergency talks expected to decide Czech government's fate on Tuesday

Radio Prague |
2 July 2019

As Europe labours under a scorching heatwave, the Czech government is feeling the heat for very different reasons. The fate of the Babiš administration, which recently survived a second no-confidence motion in Parliament since taking office, once again hangs in the balance.

Czech PM warns of snap election if coalition crumbles

Euronews/Reuters |
1 July 2019

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Sunday there would be a snap election if his coalition partner goes through with threat to quit, raising the prospect of more political turmoil after weeks of street protests against his rule. Babiš told a TV debate he had already ruled out seeking the support of the far-right, anti-EU and anti-NATO Freedom and Direct Democracy party, so a new vote would be the only option.

Embattled Czech PM survives second no-confidence vote in a year

Radio Prague |
28 June 2019

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš's government, as expected, survived a no-confidence vote early on Thursday morning, despite EU concerns over possible conflicts of interest and mass rallies demanding his resignation for alleged graft. The vote was split along party lines, with 85 MPs voting in favour of the no-confidence motion and 85 voting against it, and the remaining 30 MPs either absent or –in the case of the Communists – abstaining.

Wage increases and ministerial merry-go-round: first year of Babiš gov't assessed

Radio Prague |
27 June 2019

July 27 marks one year since the appointment of the minority government of ANO and the Social Democrats. Much attention is focused on Andrej Babiš. However, the prime minister's problems don't seem to have dented ANO's popularity with the party's base. Political scientist Petr Just gives assessment of the cabinet's first 12 months.

Czech mogul PM Babiš, contested but confident

France 24/AFP |
25 June 2019

Haunted by his past, billionaire Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is holding on to power despite facing police charges and the biggest anti-government protests the Czech Republic has seen in 30 years. Around 283,000 people rallied in Prague on Sunday, demanding that the populist tycoon resign over his murky business dealings. "One feels that the more money you pump in, the more upset the people are. This is a weird situation," Babiš said referring to his government's social spending.

Opposition seeks no-confidence vote in Babiš gov't next week

Radio Prague |
19 June 2019

The mainstream opposition parties in the lower house are pushing anew for a vote of no-confidence in the Babiš gov't, over the PM's alleged conflict of interest outlined by Brussels regarding the distribution of EU funds. They say that even if unable to muster the necessary numbers to bring down the administration, the vote would have great symbolic "moral" value. "Every MP must clearly say whether or not they have confidence in this government and this prime minister," said KDU-ČSL chairman Marek Výborný.

Outgoing culture minister caught up in political tag-of-war

Radio Prague |
30 May 2019

The drawn-out saga surrounding the resignation of the embattled Czech culture minister took a fresh twist on Monday when the president refused to accept his demise. The latest move in what critics are calling "a theatre of the absurd" has only deepened the crisis in the Czech cultural sphere.

European elections: Did Babiš's ANO really "win"? Depends on how you count

Radio Prague |
28 May 2019

Newspaper headlines announced that PM Andrej Babiš's centre-right ANO party "won" the European Parliament elections this weekend. But, as always, the political landscape is more nuanced. Mr Babiš's foes in the main opposition parties together will have twice as many MEPs, at a time when he is under investigation for alleged EU subsidy fraud.

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