Czech PM slams EU Commission audit report on possible conflict of interest

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Photo by Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com

The European Commission has rejected Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ claim that the EC audit into his alleged conflict of interest, which arrived in the Czech Republic on Friday, is not final, Czech Radio reports.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš arrives at an EU leadersʼ summit in Brussels on October 10, 2019. Photo by Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com

A Commission spokesman made it clear on Monday that the document is final and the Czech Republic has two months to respond to the EC’s recommendations.

The audit, which has been sent to the Ministry for Regional Development, remains confidential. However, according to the weekly Respect, which cites two independent sources, the EC’s final audit states that the Czech PM has a conflict of interest both under Czech law and EU law and the Czech Republic may subsequently have to return some CZK 450 million (some EUR 17.6 mln) in EU subsidies paid to his Agrofert business conglomerate.

Babiš reiterated on Sunday that he complied with the law in putting his private company Agrofert into a blind trust for the duration of his public term, according to media reports.

He said on Monday that the EC did not have the right to interpret Czech legislation and if the audit claimed he had a conflict of interest the Republic would fight it, Czech Radio added.

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