After concessions aimed at alleviating its serious concerns, the Czech competition watchdog has approved the purchase by Andrej Babiš’ Agrofert group of Central Europe’s biggest bakery group following a six-month probe into the deal.
Outspoken Student Agency founder Radim Jančura has sought to bust Czech Railways’ virtual monopoly and often clashed with local and national politicians, and administrations, not always keen to see a new competitor on the block. In an exclusive interview, he attacks the Czech competition office for failing to perform its anti-graft role, and points an accussing finger at the ministers of labor and finance – sparking legal proceedings against him for slander.
Czech state-controlled power major, German multinational giant Siemens, Škoda Auto and ArcelorMittal are among the large corporations which have received EU funds allocated to the Czech Republic within the framework of various EU programs. Siemens for example has received Kč 326 million since 2007 towards its operations in the Czech Republic, the daily Lidové noviny (LN) reported Friday.
With a couple of exceptions, the richest Czechs have all relocated their firms to countries with lower corporate taxes, the Netherlands and Cyprus being the favorite destinations. Minister of Industryand Trade Martin Kuba (Civic Democrats, ODS) says it’s “unfair” that that these entrepreneurs tell the government how to improve conditions for business in the Czech Republic.
Incendiary comments and claims made by the Czech Republic’s third richest man, agro-chemical tycoon Andrej Babiš, on a political talk show on Sunday continue to cause a stir. Police say they are investigating his claim that businessman Václav Petr tried to solicit a bribe from him to ensure President Václav Klaus did not veto a biofuels law key for Babiš’ Agrofert Group.
Senator Alena Dernerová, a doctor who entered the upper house of Parliament in 2010 as an independent with the North Bohemian alliance (Severočeši.cz) — considered a rising star and fresh face on the Czech political scene — has said she is a supporter of the new ANO 2011 civic initiative funded by Slovak-born billionaire Andrej Babiš, owner of the Agrofert empire.
Andrej Babiš, the Slovak-born billionaire founder and owner of Czech food giant Agrofert, has confirmed speculation that he will form a Czech political initiative that will promote candidates running for parliament essentially on an anti-corruption ticket; for the moment, he will remain the head and sponsor of the civic group ANO 2011, but is not himself seeking to run for elected office.
Agrofert boss and founder Andrej Babiš gave an interview this week to business daily Hospodářské noviny in which he declared that corruption in the Czech Republic had surpassed “all bearable limits” — and went on to name names, even implicating President Václav Klaus’ underlings at Prague Castle. Why is the billionaire speaking out only now? Some say he plans to enter politics on an anti-corruption ticket.
Agrofert holding owner Andrej Babiš, who ranks among the richest Czech citizens, claims that corruption in Czech Republic has exceeded all bearable limits. In an interview with business daily Hospodářské noviny, he says the problem has got considerably worse since 2006. Babiš says the country lacks a moral authority with President Klaus ignoring the problem and even his own entourage corrupt.
Czech entrepreneur Petr Kellner, the 46 year-old founder and majority shareholder of Dutch-registered PPF Group with 94.25 percent of shares, once again made it into the top 100 of the Forbes magazine’s rich list. The personal wealth of the richest Czech has reportedly grown by Kč 27.8 billion in a year, thanks to investments in China and Russia.