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MEP: EP’s debate on threat of Czech media misuse is unnecessary

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Strasbourg, May 18 (CTK correspondent) – The EP’s planned debate on the threat of political misuse of the media in the Czech Republic is unnecessary, but on the other hand, Prague has nothing to conceal, Czech MEP Michaela Sojdrova told CTK after the issue was put on the agenda of the EP’s plenary session on Thursday.

A plenary session will debate the issue on June 1, according to the agenda approved by the EP factions’ heads. No resolution will be passed after the debate, they decided.

Last week’s effort by five Czech MEPs from the EPP faction, who asked its head Manfred Weber to withdraw the point from the draft agenda, has thus been unsuccessful.

“We could have spared ourselves the debate,” Sojdrova (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) told CTK.

“On the other hand, the Czech Republic has nothing to conceal …our legislation is definitely not worse than in other EU countries,” Sojdrova said.

The Czech Republic is capable of solving its problems concerning Deputy PM Andrej Babis’s clash of interest by itself, she said.

In recent weeks, a scandal erupted around audio recordings that appeared on the Internet, showing Babis (ANO) talking with a journalist on ways to use the media he owned against his political rivals.

The prime minister proposed Babis’s dismissal over his suspected influencing of media and also tax evasion.

Sojdrova said the issue will also be discussed by the EP committee for civic freedoms, justice and interior affairs, and she considers this debate more important than the plenary one.

She said she wants to invite representatives of the Czech government, media and NGOs to the committee meeting.

“This kind of hearing I supported since the debate might have a matter-of-fact character and bring about a real exchange of information,” Sojdrova said.

The Czech Republic is not the only country to be in focus of the EP. In a similar way, the EP sessions have debated Poland, Hungary and also Germany with its toll system, Sojdrova said.

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