Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said he is sceptical with regard to the
possibility of the state compensating the clients of the bankrupt
construction company H-system.
The prime minister commented on the case in a Tweet on Monday, saying that providing such compensation to one group of clients would be unfair to all the others who had lost money in other dubious investments.
Supreme Court Judge Pavel Šámal, who dealt with the case and who came under fire for ordering 60 families of the construction company out of their homes in order to protect the rights of all other clients in the case, said that there was no way to resolve this case which would be fair to everyone and suggested that the state should get involved and provide some form of compensation.
Transparency International Czech Republic has filed a complaint against
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on the grounds of information which
suggests that although he put his billion-crown conglomerate Agrofert into
a trust fund to comply with the conflict of interests law, he is still the
person controlling the company.
Transparency says that in the Slovak Register of Public Sector Partners the company Agrofert has five controlling persons on record. Four of them can be removed by the fifth person who is at the same time irrevocable. This controlling person and one of the end users of benefits is reportedly Andrej Babiš.
Transparency says the findings may have serious implications both as regards the conflict of interest law and EU funding policies.
Prime Minister Babiš has dismissed the accusations as nonsensical.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) wants a decision on financing majority
state-owned utility ČEZ’s nuclear power plant expansion by year’s end,
he told Reuters in an interview.
The Prague-listed company has refused to invest in new plants without some form of state support. Instead, it proposes spinning off its renewables and energy services, leaving coal and nuclear sources in state hands.
Babiš says ČEZ is big enough to build new nuclear units without being split up and wants a subsidiary to be the main vehicle to build new reactors. ČEZ operates plants in Dukovany and Temelín that together covered 38 per cent of Czech energy needs last year. Its Dukovany reactors start to expire around 2035.
A June poll by the STEM agency shows Prime Minister Andrej Babiš remains
the country’s most popular politician, with 47 per cent of eligible
voters giving him a favourable rating. Jaroslav Faltýnek, the deputy
chairman of the ANO movement which Mr Babiš founded, ranked second at 38
STEM said that the poll results show there are still no "political stars" on the current scene viewed positively by the majority of the people.
Rounding out the top five spots are three opposition party chairmen: Ivan Bartoš of the Pirate Party at 36 per cent, Tomio Okamura of the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (SPD) at 35 per cent, and Vojtěch Filip of the Communists (KSČM) at 33 per cent.
Jan Hamáček, the party chairman of the Social Democrats – ANO’s junior coalition partner in the minority government formed in July – placed sixth, at 31 per cent.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) on Monday began mediating the first of a
series of meetings between former clients of collapsed building firm
H-System, ordered last week to vacate their homes, and the bankruptcy
administrator, whom the Supreme Court ruled had the right to dispose of
Some 60 former H-System clients, who have formed a housing cooperative called Svatopluk, are refusing to leave their apartments, which they themselves completed after the building system went bust in the late 1990s. The Svatopluk cooperative has said it will file an appeal to the Supreme Court.
The shortcomings in Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar’s university thesis
cannot be regarded as plagiarism, Ostrava University concluded after
conducting an in-depth analysis of the work. A spokesman for the university
said that while Metnar failed to include references to the sources he drew
on in his 2004 university thesis, he did include the authors and works
cited at the end of the work. Lubomír Metnar did not intentionally
plagiarize the works of others, the university concluded.
The defence minister defended his work at a press briefing in Prague on Friday afternoon, saying he had no reason to resign from office. Two ministers from this cabinet have stepped down after facing accusations of plagiarism.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, is set to meet his counterparts
from the UK, Austria and Estonia in the Austrian city of Salzburg on Friday
afternoon. Mr. Babiš, host Sebastian Kurz and Juri Ratas are expected to
discuss migration and issues surrounding Britain’s departure from the
European Union with Theresa May, who has taken personal charge of Brexit
Friday’s meeting takes place during a music festival in Salzburg and the leaders are due to attend a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute in the evening.
The Agrofert Group started by now Prime Minister Andrej Babiš received a
record CZK 2.1 billion in subsidies last year, Hospodářské noviny
reported on Thursday. In the same period the conglomerate paid CZK 739
million in income tax, the newspaper said.
Agrofert was still owned by Mr. Babiš at the start of 2017. In February last year he placed his shares in a trust fund to avoid a conflict of interest in view of his involvement in politics.
Agrofert obtained the highest single amount of investment subsidies in Germany, where last year it received around CZK 290 million for the construction of a large bakery.
President Miloš Zeman is due to appoint Jana Maláčová as minister of
labour and social affairs on July 30. before that he will meet Ms.
Maláčová, who has hitherto been a senior official at the Ministry of
Labour and Social Affairs, on Tuesday.
She will replace the Social Democrats’ Petr Krčál, who stepped down within a few weeks of taking the post after being accused of plagiarism during his student career.
Unusually the appointment ceremony will take place not at Prague Castle but at Lány, the presidential residence near the Czech capital.
President Miloš Zeman agrees with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Finance
Minister Alena Schillerová that a 10-percent pay rise in the state
administration next year – which is being proposed by trade unions –
would be wrong. The latter quoted Mr. Zeman after the two ANO politicians
met the head of state and his team of experts at his Lány retreat near
Prague on Saturday.
The government is planning a 15 percent salary increase for teachers in 2019 and 6 percent raise for other state employees, such as fire and police officers and clerks. However, union leaders want such employees to get 10 percent more.
Ms. Schillerová said she, Mr. Babiš and Mr. Zeman believed that there should be a debate on pay rises. However, a 10 percent rise would cost the state an extra CZK 5 billion and would not be appropriate, she told reporters.