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Ex-PM warns Zeman against allying with Babiš in his book

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Prague, May 19 (CTK) – A new book by former Czech PM Mirek Topolanek has appeared in Czech bookshops, offering the texts of his speeches, his media articles and comments on the current political situation, including his advice to President Milos Zeman not to ally with Andrej Babis, the billionaire head of ANO.

Topolanek, 60, presented the book in Prague on Thursday.

Topolanek headed the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) in 2002-2010 and was prime minister in 2006-2009. His centre-right coalition government was toppled halfway through the Czech EU presidency in the latter half of 2009.

He ceased to be an ODS member last year.

In his book, Topolanek calls the Zeman-Babis duo a bizarre tandem that he never supposed to arise.

He writes he respects Zeman (former Social Democrat leader and PM) as he is not stupid and, unlike most other people and “regardless the number of per mille” [of alcohol in blood], he is capable of starting and comprehensibly finishing even long and complex sentences.

In addition, Zeman also did well in brilliantly offending those who deserved it, Topolanek writes in the book.

He says he respects Babis, finance minister, for his hard work, ambition and determination.

Nevertheless, “the pragmatic alliance of the two is an unsuccessful genetic experiment, since I did not mention the negative aspects of each of them, which have multiplied as a result of their alliance. I do not know who uses whom, but Andrej is skilled in this respect. After using an ally, he throws him away. Milos, beware of this!” Topolanek writes.

He criticises Babis, a chemical, food and media magnate, repeatedly in his book, also in connection with the suspected fraudulent drawing of an EU subsidy by the Stork Nest company, a part of Babis’s giant Agrofert holding.

On the other hand, he praises the rightist opposition TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek, who was finance minister in his cabinet and who attended the book presentation on Thursday.

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