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DefMin: Case of Babiš’s facility harms government stability

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Lany, Central Bohemia, March 19 (CTK) – The case of the Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) complex owned by Agrofert Holding of Czech Finance Minister and ANO chairman Andrej Babis does not contribute to the political and government stability, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) told reporters on Saturday.

The whole affair is apparently expedient, he indicated.

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is investigating te Capi hnizdo case. The right-wing opposition has convoked the lower house’s extraordinary session for Wednesday, March 23, to deal with the case of suspicion of a subsidy fraud.

“Stability is not an empty word, it is also a value that is manifested in a fairly calm economic environment… It does not seem to me fully rational to deal with some affair that may be called Capi hnizdo now,” Stropnicky said.

During the formation of this government, everybody knew how and with whom it was being formed, Stropnicky said.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said on Friday the case harmed the government coalition, comprising also the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).

“We believe that ANO should hastily deal with the affair and explain it to the Czech public,” Sobotka said.

Deputy PM and billionaire businessman Babis promised to reveal the owner of the Capi hnizdo when the project had gained the EU subsidy, at the extraordinary session of the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday.

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 a 50-million-crown EU subsidy, 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.

Some opposition politicians consider it a subsidy fraud, and therefore have initiated a lower house session to deal with it.

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