Daniel Freund

4. October 2021 Anti-Corruption

The ‘Pandora Papers’ published yesterday reveal that the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis is alleged to have purchased a multi-million euro property in the south of France through shell companies. He himself controls all three shell companies through which the purchase was made. From 2014 to 2017, Babis negotiated measures to fight money laundering and tax fraud in his role as Czech Minister of Finance in the European Economic and Financial Affairs Council.

Daniel Freund, member of the Committee on Budgetary Control in the European Parliament, comments: 

“When a prime minister finances a million-dollar mansion through black channels, this is not a trifle. Andrej Babis has already tried to conceal his financial interests from the public and the EU Commission in the past. In doing so, he is violating Czech law. The Czech voters deserve clarity before the election on Sunday. The highest office in the state cannot allow for even the slightest impression of possible bribery. However, the EU heads of state and government are now the ones who must act. The Commission had already identified a conflict of interest on the part of the Czech Prime Minister, which has not been resolved to date. Therefore, the heads of state and government must exclude the Czech prime minister from all relevant negotiations. Babis cannot be allowed to negotiate the basis of his self-enrichment in Brussels.”

Not the first time Babis has been criticised

Babis’ private business dealings have already been investigated by the Commission in the past. It recently found him to have a conflict of interest, as his conglomerate Agrofert profits on a large scale from EU agricultural subsidies while he negotiates the budget at EU level as head of government.