Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Czechs have elected a Slovak-born billionaire

Observers do not expect the results of the Czech election to impact Czech-Slovak relations.

Andrej Babiš after meeting with Czech President Miloš Zeman on October 23. (Source: AP/TASR)

There is more than one post-election development scenario in the Czech Republic. Most of them are counting on Andrej Babiš, the controversial tycoon of Slovak origin, to become prime minister.

Babiš, who served as the Czech finance minister in the past election term, is considered a controversial figure in Slovak business. Deemed the richest Slovak, Babiš bought two Czech leading dailies, MF Dnes and Lidové Noviny, in 2013. His Agrofert conglomerate also owns the Hospodárske Noviny daily in Slovakia.

“I broke not only the political system, but also the media system,” Babis said in a pre-election interview.

Read also:Babiš: I am not a crook, read the story of Chirac or Berlusconi

Another controversy is linked to Babiš’ court dispute with Slovakia’s Nation’s Memory Institute (UPN), which listed him as a confidant of the Communist-time secret service StB in 2013. Babiš denied any collaboration with ŠtB. The Bratislava Regional Court and the Supreme Court decided in Babiš’ favour but most recently the Constitutional Court’s senate issued a verdict on October 12 stating that the ÚPN’s rights were violated and changes the way courts are supposed to deal with such cases.

Concerns

Major Slovak dailies commented on Babiš’s victory with concerns. They have likened him to the Hungarian and Polish governments, which have recently been moving away from principles of liberal democracy.

Czech election result confirms trend to support "the alternative" Czech-Slovak relations are unlikely to change A Slovak to become Czech PM

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Topic: European Union


Top stories

Yuri Dojc: I did not want to live under occupation

Slovakia is not even close to what I remember from my life here, says the Canadian-Slovak photographer.

Yuri Dojc today: "A reflection of an older man in the mirror with glimpse of an attractive woman , who is my wife"

We will not allow Ján and Martina to be forgotten

Statement from Slovak journalists half a year after the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová

Illustrative stock photo

Our emigrants’ stories: lessons in humanity

Slovaks who fled the 1968 occupation tell us what it means to be a refugee.

Pictures from The Gift pantomime show. Milan Sladek wrote it in the Swedish Goteborg in 1969 as a metaphor of Czechoslovakia's cohabitation with the Soviet Union.

We were on the run, but we were welcomed Photo

Slovak-Swiss writer Irena Brežná was forced to emigrate but found a way to fill her life with meaning in a foreign land.

Irena Brežná arrives to Switzerland.