The European Commission delivered a Czech translation of an audit into Babis’ conflict of interest.
The Czech Permanent Representation to the EU received the report on Structural Funds subsidies to Agrofert. Petr Janousek, a spokesman for the Czech representation, said The Ministry for Regional Development has the document. Therefore the 60 day period the Czech Republic has to respond to the report begins on 5 February. The original English version of the audit, which says Babis has a conflict of interest, arrived in Prague in November.
The MRD received a translation of the audit report this evening. The report states that Babis has a direct and indirect influence on the trust funds in which he invested his company Agrofert. At the same time, the interest in Agrofert’s economic success influenced the impartiality of Babiš’s decision-making, as he decided on matters relating to the EU funds because of his political functions. The Czech Republic should lose several hundred million crowns in subsidies, the report says. Babis denies he has a conflict of interest.
After a two-month deadline for the Czech Republic to respond to the Czech translation of the English version of the audit, Brussels will decide on how to proceed. Depending on Prague’s response. The Commission may invite representatives of the Czech authorities to a hearing or initiate a conciliation procedure. Both parties can then debate the amount that should be returned to the EU.
The EC is currently completing the second audit, which concerns direct agricultural finance for the Agrofert holding. It should be ready in February. Czech authorities in Brussels last week, claim the materials submitted by the Commission don’t prove a conflict of interest exists.