PRAGUE – Business as usual

In the middle of the coronavirus crisis, the Czech government included in its Monday agenda a law on beneficial owners’ evidence, a proposal which would help  Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to solve his alleged conflict of interests. Babiš says the government only wants to catch up with the EU’s anti-money laundering directive.

A Million Moments for Democracy, the organisation responsible for massive anti-Babiš demonstrations, warned that on the eve of national quarantine, Babiš wanted to use the situation and change the law in line with his own interests.

Babiš said that it wasn’t him who had proposed the law to be included in the government’s agenda but it was an initiative made by the finance and justice ministries.

According to Babiš, the two resorts want to transpose the anti-money laundering directive in time. However, the government is already late in the transposition.

According to the current proposal, Babiš would be considered an owner of trust funds into which his former agrochemical holding, Agrofert, has been placed but he would not be the owner of holding.

In January, Transparency International (TI) criticised such a proposal. “It is more than startling that the government of Babiš tries to approve this law right now,” said chief TI analytic Milan Eibl quoted by Aktuálně.cz, media partner of EURACTIV.cz.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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