Czech finance ministry proposes to withdraw EU funding from Stork’s Nest and other projects

The Czech Ministry of Finance has proposed that the controversial EU grant to a recreation and hotel complex connected with prime minister Andrej Babiš should be removed from the list of projects benefitting from European funds.

The recommendation regarding the Stork’s Nest centre outside Prague were made as controversy surrounds the refusal of Czech institutions so far to release details of a European Commission fraud investigation into the 50 million crown EU funding for the project.

The ministry said that it proposes to accept a Commission recommendation that 44 regional and ministry managed projects should be withdrawn from those benefitting from EU funds because of doubts about their eligibility and because they were subject to investigations or criminal proceedings.

Some of the projects were already pre-financed from Czech state sources. Withdrawing the projects would reduce the risks of EU funds being withheld from the Czech Republic and allow a line to be drawn under the previous funding period, a ministry spokesman said.