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Cabinet to discuss minister’s EU money scandal on Wednesday

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Prague, March 15 (CTK) – The Czech coalition government will meet on Wednesday to agree on its strategy at the special session of the Chamber of Deputies called over the disputed EU subsidies for the Capi hnizdo resort, owned by Finance Minister Andrej Babis, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told CTK yesterday.
Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said it was logical to demand that Babis, leader of ANO, a coalition government member, explain the whole affair.
The right-wing opposition says Babis made a subsidy fraud within the construction of the resort.
Until 2007, the Farma Capi hnizdo company belonged to Babis’s Agrofert holding.
Afterwards, its stake was transferred to bearer shares for a small firm to reach the EU subsidies, which a firm of the huge Agrofert Holding could never get. It observed this condition for a few years, but later it again returned to Babis’s concern.
Babis says he considers the case a political campaign against him.
“When it comes to the special session, I would like the coalition to adopt a concerted strategy,” Sobotka said.
“This is why I have called a coalition meeting for tomorrow afternoon or evening at which I want to agree a joint strategy,” Sobotka said.
Some coalition lawmakers for the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) have made it clear they are ready to support the special session.
Jiri Mihola, chairman of the KDU-CSL deputy group, said the group “will support the programme of the special session Capi hnizdo.”
Communists (KSCM) said earlier they would not vote for the programme of the session.
“Let the investigation into the case be made by those who are responsible for it,” Communist deputy chairwoman Miloslava Vostra said.
“However, let us think about the ethic. Babis keeps talking about it, but he has forgotten to apply in on himself. Let us wait and see whether he has breached the law,” Vostra said.
“It is logical to demand explanation in the affair that is very complicated,” Sobotka said.
Babis should provide the public with all the information about the case, he added.
Sobotka went on to warn of the politicians turning into investigators, state attorneys or judges.
Both the police and European bodies are investigating the affair, he added.
($1=24.324 crowns)

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