Slovakia, Bratislava – For his first official visit abroad, new Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš traveled to Bratislava, Slovakia. Together with his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico, they reaffirmed their desire, within the Visegrád Group, to oppose immigration. But meantime, the situation becomes difficult for Andrej Babiš in Prague.
Andrej Babiš made his first official visit abroad as Czech Prime Minister, and it is no surprise that the billionaire elected last autumn chose to go to the brother country of Slovakia. By the way, many don’t know that fact that Andrej Babiš was born in Bratislava to a Slovak family, but joined the Czech Republic after the velvet revolution.
For the Czech and Slovak heads of government, the Visegrád Group is united and in particular on the issue of immigration, the four countries stand together: the quota of migrants can not be imposed. “No one, no bureaucrat in Brussels can force the Slovak government to take in migrants,” said Robert Fico, head of the center-left Slovak government. For both men, the mandatory quotas that Brussels still tries to impose on the Member States can not work and are a disruptive factor in the EU. Thus, Andrej Babis and Robert Fico recalled that the V4 will oppose en bloc the procedures of sanctions initiated against Hungary, Czechia and Poland.
In their joint declaration, the two Heads of Government added that this kind of decision should be made by consensus of the Member States, and not by the majority, which, according to Robert Fico and Andrej Babiš, “is particularly wrong and dangerous regarding the European Union”.
Robert Fico also recalled that the V4 had launched the idea of helping migrants and refugees in particular in Libya, which they did and still do, and that thus the V4 proved by the facts its solidarity in this matter.
Andrej Babiš added that he considered it very important to find other voices joining the V4, and said he was hopeful to do so, starting with Austria. Andrej Babiš also said that he will soon be in touch with his Bulgarian counterpart, but also with Jean-Claude Juncker. “We have to convince Brussels to abandon mandatory quotas, which make no sense,” said the new Czech Prime Minister.
During this official visit, the defense ministers of Czech Republic and Slovakia also initiated the joint air defense project.
Hard start for Andrej Babiš
Already during the election campaign, his political opponents had attacked him on his business. Andrej Babiš, successful businessman and billionaire attracted by politics, like Donald Trump, has made many enemies as part of his quick rise.
His position on the euro has also displeased, especially in the west of the continent. Andrej Babiš, economist, businessman and entrepreneur, is opposed to the adoption of the euro by Czechia. He does not “consider entering the Eurozone because he sees in it more negative than positive”. For him, the Czech crown is good for the country.
Investigations has been initiated against him, including from the EU’s anti-corruption office, which said to have found “irregularities” in payments he would have received. The elements are contained in a secret report, which calls on Brussels officials to “take appropriate measures regarding these payment irregularities”.
The case is about a farm and hotel complex that would have benefited some 10 years ago from € 1.6 million in aid under an EU program for the poorest regions of Europe. The farm and the hotel complex belonged to one of Andrej Babiš’s companies.
Czech police have called on MPs to lift his immunity from prosecution. Babiš is expected to lose the vote of confidence that will take place this week. However, President Zeman – despite the 12 January presidential election – promised to reappoint Babiš as Prime Minister if he’d lose.