Monday, November 29

Czech Prime Minister, dotted with Pandora Papers, seeks reelection


The Czechs hold legislative elections today and tomorrow with no anticipated changes in the configuration of the current government.

Election poster of the Alliance of Discontented Citizens (ANO), by Andrej Babis.
Election poster of the Alliance of Discontented Citizens (ANO), by Andrej Babis.BERNADETT SZABOREUTERS
  • Czech Republic Andrej Babis, el Trump checo

The Czechs hold legislative elections today and tomorrow with no anticipated changes in the current government’s configuration. No one expects the polls to collect the disappointment or punishment to a prime minister who aspires to re-election from the top positions of the so-called “Pandora papers.” The leader of the Alliance of Disgruntled Citizens (ANO), Andrej Babis, the richest man in the country, leads the polls with 28.2 percent support, well ahead of the other parties.

The responsibility, when it belongs to many, is difficult to exempt because it becomes part of normality and in the “Pandora’s Papers” they appear, in addition to Babis, 300 Czech citizens.

According to the Czech server, which participated in an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Babis, founder of the Agrofert group has moved more than 16 million euros Through offshore companies, with which he subsequently acquired real estate on the French Riviera, including the Bigaud Castle in Mougins (France), near Cannes. The property was acquired in 2009 through shell companies based in Washington and the Virgin Islands. The castle have more than 40,000 square meters and is surrounded by medieval estates. In addition to that property, Babis acquired seven other estates just a few kilometers from the castle in the same way. Among them, a two-story villa with a pool and a garage.

Babis has not denied these properties, but he has acted illegally. For him, his appearance in these “roles” is a attempted slander and to influence the parliamentary elections that take place this Friday and Saturday. Nothing, then, makes Babis fear that his party will back down from the 2017 elections and lose the ability to form a new government coalition. On that occasion Babis went to the polls with an electoral program similar to that of the American Donald Trump. He promised to end corruption and tax evasion. “Trump said: ‘Let’s make America great again.’ That’s what I say too. Let’s make the Czech Republic strong again,” he repeated.

Babis, however, did not include this offshore corporate structure or property in the patrimonial declarations that he has to present for his public position, according to research. The media, however, were already suspicious of the politically ambitious millionaire. Shortly before the 2017 elections, the local media discovered that the secret owner of the country’s most important luxury resort, south of Prafa, was the Agrofet consortium, the same consortium that was allegedly making illegal use of aid to the countryside. from Brussels.

The Czech prime minister, who has been approached on several occasions by reporters from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), has declined to answer questions. On one of the occasions, one of his bodyguards elbowed one of the journalists I asked him about this question.

Babis, according to all the forecasts, will rise with victory, although I will not be able to rule alone. The reissue of the current coalition will depend on the results of its coalition partner, the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD), which, with a 4.6% projection in the polls, could be left out of Parliament.

Behind ANO are the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy party, with 13%, the Pirate Party (10.6%) and the conservative Civic Democratic Party (ODS,) with 10.3%.

According to the criteria of

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