The European Parliament has just passed a resolution regarding possible conflict of interest involving the Czech prime minister. Under the decision, the European Commission will suspend subsidies to the Agrofert conglomerate linked to Andrej Babiš until the situation surrounding his alleged conflict of interest is settled.
As the deadline date for Brexit looms ever closer, Czechs are asking themselves what the economic impact of a “hard” Brexit would be. A report published by Česká spořitelna, says that as the country’s fifth largest trading partner, the UK’s exit on WTO rules could cost tens of thousands of Czech jobs and around CZK 55 billion. However, the economic impact would be too small to affect projected economic growth.
Jakub Kalenský was among the first to join the skeleton staff of the East StratCom Task Force, the European Union’s first direct initiative to identify, debunk and counter Russia’s disinformation campaigns. For the first year or so of the Task Force’s existence, established in the summer of 2015, the Czech former journalist was also the only team member devoted solely to that monumental task.
EU lawmakers have hammered out a deal to cut vehicle emissions 35 percent by 2030 in a bid to fight climate change and pollution. The Czech Republic, whose auto industry is the main economic driver, was among those pushing for a far smaller cut, arguing stringent CO2 targets will lead to structural problems across the EU.
The European Council on Tuesday approved a proposal that will allow EU member states that have a problem with carousel tax fraud to apply a generalized reversal of VAT liability. This is something Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has fought for for four and a half years on the argument that use of reverse charge could save the EU a large part of the around 170 billion euros lost every year in unpaid VAT.
As Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš defended his government’s decision not to accept even a single migrant at the EU summit in Salzburg, trouble was brewing for him at home. A proposal for the Czech Republic to take in 50 Syrian orphans, has gained increasing support, and the prime minister is being showered with requests to break from his policy and make a humanitarian gesture.