Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš suggested scrapping his country’s turn with the EU’s rotating Council presidency because it is a waste of money and nothing more than “blathering with sandwiches,” according to local media.
The daily Deník N reported that Babiš told Cabinet ministers in a meeting on Monday that the country’s six months running the presidency of the Council of the EU, in the second half of 2022, would cost a lot of money and bring no benefits, and therefore he suggested they should skip their turn.
Babiš later denied that he suggested giving up the presidency and said that he only complained about the cost. He told Deník N that the Czech Republic will be taking on the presidency as scheduled.
The last time the Czechs held the rotating presidency was in 2009, when it cost an estimated 3.5 billion koruna (€135 million), according to the newspaper report.
The Council presidency changes hands every six months and a list has been drawn up until 2030. It was updated in 2016 when the U.K. dropped out because of the Brexit vote.