Tuesday August 03, 2021

EP passes resolution against Czech PM over conflict of interest

Published : 11 Jun 2021, 01:40

  DF News Desk

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis arrives for a special European Council meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels, July 17, 2020. File Photo: European Union/Handout via Xinhua.

The European Parliament (EP) on Thursday passed a resolution calling for an end to EU funding to Agrofert, a business conglomerate of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, over alleged conflicts of interests, reported Xinhua.

"(The EP) insists that further disbursement of funds, either from the EU or Czech national budget, to the companies ultimately controlled by Babis, or Members of the Czech government must be halted until the cases of conflict of interests are fully resolved," the EP resolution said.

A majority of 505 MEPs supported the legally unbinding resolution. Only 30 MEPs were against the resolution and 155 abstained from the vote.

Firms owned by Babis, which he insists were placed in trust funds and thus meet local legal obligations, are among the biggest recipients of EU subsidies earmarked for agriculture.

An audit by the European Commission released in April concluded that Babis still maintained effective control over Agrofert, a conglomerate holding company headquartered in Prague, and was thus in conflict of interest. A fact-finding mission by the European Parliament last year reached similar conclusions.

Babis has accused Brussels of undue meddling in the Czech Republic's internal affairs over the matter.

"This is the continuation of the EP's interference in the internal affairs of the Czech Republic. We are a sovereign country and a political struggle is going on here. The elections are approaching and the EP is attempting to influence them," said Babis.