Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Palermo moves from Sicily to Czechia

When a billionaire is a finance minister, you may be worried about a clash of interests. What does he do with a guy who owns a part of the same hall as the minister's chemical company and whose wagon blocks the minister's view?

Well, the video above – especially the events from 1:00 – approximately show the events. Comrade Andrej Babiš, a former top-tier communist and a secret police snitch, has bragged about his power many times. He has also publicly complained about our country's being like Sicily – except that he forgot to tell us he was the only big gangster around.

(BTW La Piovra, the series about the Italian mafia, was aired on Czechoslovak TVs in the 1980s during communism – I guess that this was one of the films that have gotten the permission from the communist bosses more quickly than others because the Italian society isn't pictured too flatteringly.)

On Sunday, the Twitter Skupina_Suman (The Julius Šuman Group, his critic[s] – whose identity is still eluding the current intelligence – funnily nicknamed after Babiš's commander at the communist secret police) has released about the fifth secret recording with Babiš's voice and it may be the most dramatic one yet.

Note that in his previous secret recordings, Babiš was discussing "bullets ready to shoot at [his social democratic foes]" with a journalist Mr Marek Přibil in the newspapers he had bought – although he had previously sworn on his kids' lives that he would never abuse the ownership of the press to manipulate content.

In another audio file, he talks about a currently investigated police case even though he shouldn't know about the content at all. In one more recording, he would boast to be familiar with some intimate information about the alleged negotiation with the Soviets that promoted Havel to the president of Czechoslovakia. I forgot another recording.

But this is the newest, one-minute-long audio file – which may have been recorded in early October 2016, according to my own investigation. At any rate, Babiš was clearly the finance minister at that moment.

His partner – and it's not known who he was – only says "yeah" or "hmmm". Babiš was heard as saying:
That [company] FAU [in the town of] Přerov... it is going to the pußy [will cease to exist, the first obscenity] because of yet another coincidence. I privatized Precheza [a chemical factory, now a part of his Agrofert Holding] in '97 and before the privatization, they separated and sold the wagon to a company and that company ended up in [FAU... not intelligible] So now there is a wagon in my chemical factory that belongs to these motherf*ckers [second obscenity].

So our guys [the IRS and customs officers whom he controlled] have knelt down [like in wrestling] on the FAU Přerov. It means that the company has defaulted, its accounts and wagons are blocked and confiscated, in fact also Slovnaft and everything. Now, that guy Mr Pitr bought that. And it's obvious that we're going after their necks because it's a criminal gang that owes some $10 million to the government in taxes. Well, a problem is that recently, a court in Ostrava ruled that the company didn't owe a penny, it wasn't supposed to have paid any value-added-tax because the products (liquid fuels) weren't circulating, Babiš's financial officers absurdly wanted some payments twice, and all this bankruptcy imposed by the ministry was illegal. It was illegal but Babiš wanted it because FAU owned a wagon that was blocking Babiš's view and didn't want to sell the wagon or the part of the hall to Babiš! ;-) Now, clearly, the finance minister is obviously not allowed to abuse the ministry for his own interest. I believe that according to the bill about this crime, on the abuse of power by an official, he could be charged with the worst kind of this crime (due to the big loss) – between 5 and 12 years in prison or the confiscation of Babiš's assets (which would be yummy, it's worth over$3 billion); or 3-10 years if they decided it's not the most serious type.

On top of the abuse of power, he shouldn't have known about the looming bankruptcy, induced by the financial officers, because the exchange – whose authenticity has already been confirmed by Babiš – took place almost certainly before the default was publicized and workers in the Czech IRS are supposed to work independently from the minister.

Note that the liquidated company FAU Přerov – which mostly made its profit by moving liquid fuels from one place to another – is no small fish. Over the years, it has paid almost $1 billion to the Czech government coffers in taxes. So they're just "one level" below Babiš's own company. People in some Western countries are overly sensitive. But I think that a top politician would experience a political death in most countries in the West and I think it would be right. I believe that the government shouldn't be this big at all – it just shouldn't be this straightforward for a minister to secretively kill a billion-dollar company at all. Instead, in Czechia, people keep on talking about him as the "guaranteed" next prime minister. Well, I have actually made a$45 bet in Fortuna, a top betting agency, that he won't even win the elections (and will win 6 times that if that's right). But I realize that the risk that he's the winner – and even becomes the prime minister – is significant.

In the past, the Czech public was way less tolerant towards politicians who were considered suspects. The most recent right-wing government collapsed in 2013 because of some police investigation of the then prime minister Mr Petr Nečas' secretary, dominant lover, and now his second wife. There were three accusations but the only one that was sort was backed in the following four years is that this secretary has received several fancy purses. ;-)

Now, Babiš stole a $2 million subsidy, used the ministry to destroy a billion-dollar rival company, demonstrably did about 3 more comparably serious things, and some 25% of the people may still consider him the guru. Well, it's because they're just like him – they would abuse the offices just like he does, and they love that he's a primitive man like they are. Primitive people who are drunk with power and money as soon as they get them, who can't resist the temptation to brag about them, just like he does, and who want to reduce the number of independent entrepreneurs in the country to "at most one". I sincerely hope that the police won't be affected by these sick restrictions and Babiš's billions of dollars and millions of brain-dead voters will be useless for him and, ideally, I will win my$270. But it is true that the policemen who impartially investigate these crimes must be rather courageous because if they fail to arrest him before mid the October elections and if they don't prevent him from becoming the prime minister, he can – and he looks determined – to punish them harshly for their arrogance to challenge the new Führer.