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Czechs protest against PM Babis after damning EU news

Last updated on December 11, 2019

Speakers at the demonstration at Prague from the Million Seconds for Democracy civic team necessitated Babis’s former company empire Agrofert be cut away from European Union subsidies and public contracts, and they called on Babis to resign.

Tuesday’s demonstration was called following the nation’s leading prosecutor reopened last week a situation against Babis, suspecting he hid possession of one of his own companies a decade back so it would be eligible for a two million euro subsidy.

Separately, an audit from the European Commission, the European Union’s executive, leaked into Czech media a week, revealed the Commission saw Babis in conflict of interest since he had control over Agrofert, a conglomerate of hundreds of businesses he’d assembled over the previous two years and set into trust capital in 2017.

The demonstration group, set up by pupils, had attracted a quarter of a million people into the streets in Prague twice before this season at the largest demonstrations of the nation’s 30-year post-communist era.

The demonstration on Tuesday in Prague’s central Wenceslas Square had been smaller, numbering several tens of thousands based on a Reuters’ quote, and 60,000 based on the organizers.

“A liar under analysis doesn’t have any business being from the post of prime minister,” Benjamin Roll out of Million Moments for Democracy informed the audience.

“The European Commission audit talks clearly: Andrej Babis abuses political authority to get his own company,” he added.

Regardless of the protests, Babis’s populist ANO movement remains undoubtedly the most popular political party with approximately 30% of the vote, drawing support among elderly voters and areas beyond the capital.

His companies span agriculture, food processing, chemicals, and press, and are one of the central European country’s major recipients of different EU cash, from farm subsidies which are given each hectare or per animal to project-based fund for environmental and innovation investments.