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Zeman to visit Babiš’s Stork Nest farm on Thursday

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Prague, April 26 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman will visit the Stork Nest, Finance Minister Andrej Babis’s farm that received controversial subsidies a few years ago, on Thursday afternoon, Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said yesterday.
Zeman, accompanied by a group of children from homes for endangered children, will come to see the animals bred at the farm.
In the past weeks, the opposition criticised the previous drawing of EU subsidies for the Stork Nest project of a farm and a congress centre, situated south of Prague, as a subsidy fraud.
The subsidies are being checked by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
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 gain 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.
In late March, Babis told lawmakers that when applying for the subsidy, the Stork Nest was owned by his two adult children and a brother of his common-law wife.
Zeman said he considers the affair a media campaign. He said Babis explained the case to him during their meeting at Prague Castle in March, when they also agreed on Zeman’s visit to the Stork Nest.
($1=24.014 crowns)

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