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Slovak press: Babiš is threat to Czech Republic

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Bratislava, Aug 15 (CTK) – Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis (leader of ANO), who is likely to win the next election to the Chamber of Deputies, poses a serious threat to the country, the Slovak daily Sme writes yesterday.
“Babis’s contempt for democratic institutions and procedures is the primary problem,” Sme writes.
“Babis may merge some ministries and cancel others in a next government not to waste time in inter-ministerial talks,” it adds.
“An even bigger problem is posed by Babis’s monstrous conflict of interests. He is at the same time an influential politician and the owner of a holding with over 200 companies and annual profit of over 300 million euros and owner of a number of important media outlets,” Sme writes.
Babis as a politician sets the rules for Babis, a businessman, while Babis’s media keeps silent of this.
If ANO became the strongest government party and its head the prime minister, the described conflict would even deepen and the danger increase, Sme writes.
“The likelihood of such developments is all but certain. Babis’s chances are cemented by his political alliance with President Milos Zeman, the weakness of the Social Democrats and failed attempts of the right at its resurrection,” it adds.
It will be vital for the success of ANO if Babis keeps his voters in the erroneous idea that he is no politician for one more year.
He may still claim that he came from the business sphere to manage the state as a business, that he is not implicated in political haggling and that he is the only real fighter against corruption, Sme writes.
Food and media mogul Babis is the owner of the Agrofert Holding. According to the Forbes magazine, his property is worth 2.4 billion US dollars, which makes him the second richest Czech after Petr Kellner.
With the slogan that it will run the country “like a business,” his ANO was very successful in the 2013 election to the Chamber of Deputies, in which it gained almost 19 percent of the vote.
Now ANO has a steady lead in poll ratings.

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