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Babiš should explain EU subsidies scandal, Social Democrats say

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Prague, March 10 (CTK) – Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) should explain the circumstances of the case of EU subsidies for the Capi hnizdo conference centre, Milan Stech and Jan Hamacek, chairmen of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate (Social Democrats, CSSD), told CTK yesterday.
Babis is entangled in the case, Hamacek and Stech said.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) should react to the scandal, the opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS) said.
The authorities imposed high fines on the Capi hnizdo resort of the Agrofert holding owned by Babis due to its unauthorised drawing of EU subsidies, the server wrote earlier this week.
Two audits have shown that part of the subsidy for the luxurious conference centre was paid at variance with rules and they set a fine of six million crowns for it.
Babis has so far claimed that the audits did not reveal any shortcomings in connection with the Capi Hnizdo (The Stork’s Nest) resort, situated 50 kilometres south of Prague.
Babis has denied any wrongdoing.
“The situation is becoming serious because Babis is being entangled in the nets,” Stech said.
Law-enforcement bodies should carefully deal with the affair, he added.
Stech said it was strange that the original fine was considerably reduced.
Based on a mistake when getting the subsidies in 2009, Capi hnizdo was fined 3.6 million crowns. After a penalty was added, it rose to six million.
In 2012, a large part of the fine was pardoned and the firm only paid 37,000 crowns plus the relevant penalty.
Babis has said Capi hnizdo is not his.
“Babis should explain all the circumstances with the implication of Capi hnizdo,” Hamacek said.
“His statement that he has nothing in common with the project is absurd because all of us have the Internet, all of us can work with the trade register,” he added.
($1=24.640 crowns)

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