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Prague mayor supports the controversial “Lex Babiš”

Prague Castle. Photo: Bohemist

Prague Mayor and a member of Babiš’s ANO party told local media she supported the proposed law.


PRAGUE – The lower house voted overwhelming to strip the Czech Republic’s most famous tycoon of his media assets yesterday, and today a prominent member of his own political party has said she supports the law.

Prague mayor and former head of Transparency International Czech Republic, Adriana Krnáčová today told local media she that although she would not have voted for the Conflict of Interest law that rushed through the lower house yesterday, she thinks the law is a good thing.

“It’s positive. I agree with the law,” Krnáčová said in an interview, which will be published in Friday’s issue of Hospodarske noviny.

Krnáčová said she was bound to vote along party lines, being a member of Babiš’s own ANO political party, which is favored to secure a sweeping victory in the upcoming national elections.

However, Finance Minister and second richest man in the Czech Republic, who ranks with a net worth over US$2 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was targeted by a law that would require him to divest his profitable media portfolio in MAFRA.

The law, when signed by the President, would require all parliamentarians to own no more than 25% of any business and to give up ownership of all print media. It would also prevent MP-owned business from being eligible for any government-subsidies.

Babiš has called the agitators of the law „desperate“ and has accused them of having zero understanding of how the real world works (we assume he means one where the filthy rich get preferential treatment?).

Krnáčová’s former employer, Transparency International, has previously spoken out about the amount of government subsidies Babiš’s companies have received.

Almost all popular political polls in the country currently peg ANO party leader and current Finance Minister Babiš as being the favored candidate for premier.


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