Thursday, December 13, 2018

EU lawmakers tough on Czech PM's clash of interests

On December 1st, I discussed a leaked report written by the official EU legal service that has figured out that indeed, the Czech PM has a conflict of interests.

The EU rules about the conflict of interests were rather clearly stated but became much more stringent in August 2018. Whether or not I like the EU policies, I think that every civilized institution like that simply has to have some rules that prevent this behavior. The conflict of interests is ludicrously obvious for Babiš: he is currently the most powerful politician in Czechia, the second wealthiest citizen, and his company Agrofert is the greatest recipient of EU subsidies in the country.

Those subsidies have doubled from some $40 million annually when he entered politics 5 years ago to $80 million. Most of this doubling is almost certainly due to his corrupt interference with the money flows. His wealth has also doubled in that 5-year period.



Strasbourg has been notorious for another Islamic terrorist attack this week but from the Czech perspective, two events in the very same city of Strasbourg were more important. A European court for human rights rejected as "unacceptable" Babiš's complaint against Slovakia – whose constitutional court has basically certified the official archives of the communist secret police that imply that he was an agent of the communist secret police.

Babiš had previously exploited the testimony of his old friends from StB who had claimed that they had never heard of this name. The constitutional court was needed to stop that farce and to say that indeed, you shouldn't trust officers in a defunct (?) communist secret police because they could have tons of reasons to say lies in the enemy's court.



On top of that, the European Parliament – which moved from Brussels to Strasbourg this time as well – debated his clash of interests last night. Most deputies who spoke in the discussion were clearly against Babiš but you could see some very strange bedfellows that have protected him, too.

Two ladies-whores from his movement were accompanied by a particularly passionate Czech communist MEP. She was criticized by a foreign male lawmaker for the bizarre support by communists for a corrupt billionaire. She responded with a rant saying that Babiš represented everything that their party had wanted since they became servants to Joseph Stalin in 1929 – massive Bolshevik redistribution, theft of church's assets etc. – so she is obliged to sacrifice a life for such a Babiš – communists mean another person's life, of course. Not even the two official Babiš's whores were this emotional about their unconditional support. Yes, we currently have a government that revolves around the communist party.

Today after the noon, there was a vote – in a sequence of very many votes that force the lawmakers to decide about the buttons many times and very quickly. It's not quite a straightforward slow job, it seems to me. As I expected, the European Parliament picked the strongest proposed resolution among the four – not a surprise because hours before the vote, it had been endorsed by the EPP (the largest club in the EP), ECR, and the Greens. Some 450 voted for, about 60 against, and 50 abstained – out of 751 lawmakers in the EP. Most of the people who voted against the anti-Babiš resolution were the ALDE club where Babiš's ANO belongs – others rightfully say that ALDE is coddling their pet oligarch. It is crazy for a "liberal" ALDE group to endorse an oligarch building a new totalitarian system but that's how it works. ALDE had prepared the softest resolution that basically said "it's nice to fight against the clash of interests but one must look elsewhere, to random places, and don't annoy our friend Babiš and leave it to the Babiš's government in Czechia to decide whether Babiš is innocent". Nice try.

The approved EPP-ECR-Greens resolution demands the subsidies to Babiš's Agrofert Holding to be stopped at least before the investigation into his clash of interests is concluded. They want the investigation of the past subsidies as well and some other things. Most of the resolution is redundant because last night, a commissioner called Günther Oettinger reported that the subsidies for Agrofert had already been stopped in August 2018 or earlier, anyway. In fact, he has literally said that all subsidies for Czechia had been completely stopped in August 2018 – which would be much more far-reaching. So Czechia was sort of excited about the possibility that our prime minister was capable of hiding that we hadn't gotten a penny from the EU for half a year. Did he hide that he demolished the Prague Castle and built another Stork's Nest there, too? But after some iterations, it turned out that Oettinger probably misspoke. Only the Agrofert's subsidies were suspended.

Now, some radical Czech populist people demand the Euroskeptics like me to be on Babiš's side – so that by doing so, we are against the EU. I am sorry but I find it absolutely insane. His theft of the public funds has nothing whatever to do with the values I endorse. And Babiš is no Euroskeptic or true ally. He is a hardcore Bolshevik and opportunist whose wealth has always depended on being attached to the financial EU boobs. His main allies – and worshipers – are the old-fashioned 19th-century-style stinky Marxists right now but Babiš has been licking and is still licking the aßes of the EU-like neo-Marxist folks, too.

For example, his government wants to adopt the sick genderist "Instanbul Convention" as soon as possible. And just today, he tried to act as the harshest EU negotiator fighting against the United Kingdom as he says that the EU won't give the U.K. another chance or an improvement of the deal. He is clearly trying to win some sympathies in Brussels – but I guess it can't be enough because there are lots of people who do similar things in Brussels, anyway. What sort of a Euroskeptic this guy is? How stupid or blinded by hate someone has to be to defend Babiš and his crimes as if they were a part of the pro-sovereignty, anti-neo-Marxist efforts? Perhaps Babiš's acts are pillars of the enlightenment, freedom, and democracy?

Sorry, I don't want to have anything to do with it. Babiš is clearly scum and his mostly Alzheimer-powered voters are a part of the problem because together, Babiš and his sheep are really an organized criminal organization that steals the money from the productive Czechs (and also Europeans) and gives it to parasitic dishonest scum, namely themselves. His having illegally sucked billions of crowns from the public budgets, including the EU budget, is clearly his problem, not a problem of Czechia. Decent Czech citizens haven't benefited from any penny that has gone to Babiš's pocket.

If people who try to defend Babiš in his obviously indefensible position were supposed to become leaders of the Czechout, our exit from the EU, I would become a staunch warrior against Czechout. Such a move would obviously turn us into a society of the Central Asian style. I dislike most of the things that the EU represented in recent years but I still worship true European values – and these pro-Babiš fanatics apparently don't. In fact, I would prefer if my country embraced some 2,000 or so Arabs over leaving the EU with these Babiš-connected folks as leaders.

The EU needs to change but any kind of a better future European community I can imagine will have some shared funds and will have to work hard to prevent politicians from sending tens of millions of dollars from those funds directly to their corporate wallets.

Thankfully, the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) is adopting attitudes to all these EU-related and Babiš-related problems that I can recognize as my own. Incidentally, the ODS' MEP Mr Jan Zahradil is running to be the replacement for Juncker. Some recent surveys indicate that the huge number of parties in the current Czech Parliament, nine, could drop hugely... perhaps up to three. The most important left-wing party for the old (and also completely uneducated) voters is Babiš's ANO (some 30%, over 50% in both subgroups I mentioned), the most important left-wing party of the younger voters is the Pirates (13%), and the only right-wing party safely above the 5% threshold is the ODS (13%).

The disappearance of the right-wing parties looks cataclysmic but this is unfortunately how the Czech nation really feels about economic matters. Well, hopefully, if ODS+Pirates were enough for a coalition government, Pirates would prefer ODS over Babiš as their teammate. I think that to hide that these numbers show that we're a nation of Untermenschen is an example of political correctness that has run amok. Both Pirates and ANO have benefited from some modern P.R. – and they have mostly superseded or devoured the old-fashioned left-wing parties such as the social democrats and communists that have dominated the left-wing political spectrum for decades (or a century).

Both ANO and the Pirates look "apolitical" or "playful" and foreigners are usually shocked that the Pirates may be this strong etc. But this comment applies to ANO as well – it has no fixed ideology whatsoever – and the success of these Czech apolitical parties boils down to the general hatred of ordinary Czechs against "politics of any sort". The average Czechs don't care about any values (the justice, freedom, and the truth are less than an excrement for them), they care about the biomass that is thrown to their and their pigs' feeding troughs. It is sadly true and everyone who is dreaming about turning his nation into a nation of atheists should know that this sad outcome is what he is most likely to actually get.



Incidentally, I believe that the loss of subsidies could hypothetically mean bankruptcy for Agrofert, Babiš's company, and his getting broke.

Its value is some CZK 75 billion (latest annual Forbes; that value dropped by CZK 13 billion in a year due to lower profitability of fertilizer production in SK and DE; and problems with restructuralization of DE barkeries). That includes some positive assets of CZK 110 billion minus some CZK 35 billion debt. Those 110 billions are some 20 times the annual profit around CZK 5 billion. Without subsidies, around 2.5 billion, that could get halved (yes, this is how much these Babiš's industries are distorted by the subsidies).

With a fixed P/E, the positive equity would also get halved, to CZK 55 billion. The debt would stay the same, CZK 35 billion. So we're above zero but Babiš could also be asked to return the public funds from the past which could amount to one-half of those CZK 20 billion that were left. If some other things go a little bit wrong, things can easily get out of control.

Babiš must either resign, or accept the near-bankruptcy losses of the subsidies, or sell the company. Resignation means an almost guaranteed life in prison (just 12 years for the abduction plus 10 years for the serious category of the subsidy fraud). The loss of the equality is too high. So for him, it would probably make sense – despite his emotional attachment to Agrofert – to sell the company. But it's a fire sale and he would be unlikely to get over CZK 50 billion for it.

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