“Business and politics is a delicate combination that should not leave any doubts for a conflict of interest”, said the Chairwoman of the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee, German MEP Inge Gräßle.
“The role of Andrej Babiš as head of the Czech government and his business dealings obviously create this conflict, as also concluded by the European Commission's legal service”, recalled Gräßle.
The Agrofert Group, founded by Babiš, received €82 million in EU funding last year and tens of millions of Euros annually since 2013. During the first half of this year, Babiš himself received an income of €3.5 million from Agrofert via his trust finds.
“We insist that the Commission suspends all EU funding to Agrofert until the conflict of interest is fully investigated and resolved”, said Gräßle. “The Commission should also recover all funds that have been illegally or irregularly paid out.”
“The principle of avoiding a conflict of interest is clear and not hard to follow. It is all the more disappointing to see that the usually very moral Liberals are now bowing their heads in silence when the problems start rising from among their own ranks”, Gräßle noted.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 218 Members from 28 Member States