Prague, Feb 27 (IANS) A group of Members of the European Parliament has arrived in the Czech Republic for a fact-finding mission related to conflict of interest allegations against Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
The delegation, led by Chairwoman of the Committee on Budgetary Control Monika Hohlmeier, plans to meet with representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Agriculture, and Regional Development, and the Supreme Audit Office, Xinhua news agency reported.
Working meetings will take place on Thursday and Friday to find out how Czech authorities manage money from European funds, the Czech News Agency (CTK) reported.
In addition, they will meet with the temporary commission of the Czech Senate set up for investigating audit reports by the European Commission (EC) that examined Babis’s alleged conflict of interest. They will also meet with non-governmental organisations, the Association of Private Agriculture of the Czech Republic, and investigative journalists who have been looking into the matter.
The MEPs also wanted to meet with the prime minister, but the prime minister never confirmed the meeting, according to CTK report.
Last year, the European Commission’s audit report found the Czech prime minister in conflict of interest. The case centers around Agrofert, Babis’s business conglomerate, that was transformed into trust funds in 2017, but the EC believes Babis still maintains effective control of the company, which had received subsidies from the European Union for projects which the EC believes personally benefited Babis.
The full report has not yet been released to the public and Babis denies the allegations.