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Minister Babiš not to resign over his property situation

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Prague, May 1 (CTK) – Czech Deputy PM and Finance Minister Andrej Babis does not intend to resign from the government since he cannot see the slightest reason for this, he said at his ANO movement’s May Day event in Prague on Monday.

He reacted to the statement by PM Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) who said Babis should act like a man in the case of his unclear property situation and his purchase of untaxed one-crown bonds, issued by the Agrofert Holding, which he owned until February, in 2012, for 1.5 billion crowns..

In March, the Chamber of Deputies called on Babis to refute “serious” suspicions of tax evasion in connection with the one-crown bonds by the end of April. If he did not do so, Sobotka should draw consequences from this, the deputies said.

Babis sent a letter with his explanation to the Chamber of Deputies and Sobotka last week. Sobotka is to comment on the affair on Tuesday.

“I cannot see the slightest reason why I should resign. This is a desperate attempt by the CSSD that has certain preferences. The prime minister has focused on me and he wants to oust me from politics at any cost. I think this is a pity since it is harming this government that is successful thanks to me as well,” Babis told reporters.

The coalition government is also comprised of the junior Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).

Babis’s ANO has long led election preferences polls, much ahead of the CSSD.

According to Babis, “economic dilettantes” from the Government Office cannot throw mud at him for tax-payers’ money. Besides, they cannot understand the answers in his letter, formulated by economists and lawyers, he said.

Sobotka has never managed a firm and he does not understand business, he added.

Babis claims in his letter that all his transactions with the Agrofert Holding were legal, including his purchase of the untaxed one-crown bonds. He called the whole affair an organised campaign against him and a media chase.

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