12th Minister of Finance

Andrej Babiš

Andrej born 2 September 1954 is a Czech politician, entrepreneur and businessman ofSlovak origin. Since 29 January 2014 he has been Finance Minister of the Czech Republic, Deputy Prime Minister responsible for the economy and since 11 May 2012 leader of political party ANO 2011. Babiš, the second richest man in the Czech Republic is a former CEO and sole owner of the Agrofert group. Babiš is considered to be one of the most popular politicians in the Czech Republic.

Early life and career

He was born on 2 September 1954 in BratislavaCzechoslovakia. His father, a diplomat and member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, represented Czechoslovakia during negotiations with the GATT at Geneva and as a consultant at UN. He is nephew of Ervin and Viera Scheibner.

Andrej Babiš spent a part of his childhood abroad. Later, he studied at a gymnasium in Bratislava and continued at the University of Economics, where he studied international trade. Following his studies, he worked as an employee of the Slovak communist controlled international trade company Petrimex in Morocco. In addition to accusations that he was a "powerful agent" for the Czechoslovak secret state security service, StB, during the Communist era, he also has been accused of being a KGB officer in those years. 

He came back to Czechoslovakia after the Velvet Revolution and resided in the Czech Republic after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. He became managing director of Agrofert in 1993 and gradually developed it into one of the largest companies in the country. Agrofert had been a subsidiary of Petrimex while Babiš was on the Board. During his time on the Board, Agrofert was quietly recapitalised by an obscure Swiss entity, OFI (located in the same small Swiss town, Baar, where Marc Rich was located), which took control of Agrofert from Petrimex. Petrimex later fired Babiš and sued him, unsuccessfully, for allowing the firm's stake in Agrofert to be diluted. Soon thereafter, Babiš turned out to be the 100% owner of Agrofert. He originally focused his business activities mainly on agriculture, but in recent years he has acquired a large empire of media companies. This has brought him criticism from parties who believe he is amassing far too much power, since the media outlets he controls publish very sympathetic coverage of him.


In January 1993 Babiš became managing director of newly established Petrimex's subsidiary Agrofert. He had suggested establishing Agrofert while he was a Director at Petrimex, and he gradually assumed full control over the new company. The (foreign) source of the initial financing for his takeover of Agrofert from Petrimex was still undisclosed as of the end of 2014.

The company started as a wholesale and trading firm, but acquired various agriculturalfood processing and chemical companies later. In 2011 Agrofert Holding consists of more than 230 companies mainly in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany. It is thefourth largest company in the Czech Republic by revenue with revenue exceeding CZK 117 billion. When he entered politics he resigned on CEO but still remains sole owner.

The history of Agrofert, detailed in a book by the journalist Tomáš Pergler, is closely linked to its control of the Czech petrochemicals industry. One reviewer of the book said the account “captures much of what has led Czechs to the conviction that they live in a corrupted, clientist country – and (paradoxically) then to vote for the ANO movement.”

In 2013 Agrofert purchased the company MAFRA, publishing Lidové noviny and Mladá fronta DNES newspapers and operating theÓčko TV. Agrofert also owns Radio Impuls, the most listened radio station in the Czech Republic (as of late 2014).

Political activities

Babiš founded his party ANO 2011 (English: YES 2011) "to fight corruption and other ills in the country's political system".Political scientists noted in 2014 that Czech democracy is in decline, and that Andrej Babis is associated with that decline more than any other single person.

His political motives have been questioned after his Agrofert purchased MAFRA, one of the largest and most influential publishing houses in the Czech Republic. The party contested in Czech legislative election held in October 2013 and finished as second strongest gaining 47 seats (of 200) in the Chamber of Deputies. The American political consulting firm Penn Schoen Berland was credited with engineering the surprise victory. 

Babiš is the Minister of Finance in the coalition government of Social Democrats, ANO and Christian Democrats.

Babiš has been linked closely to President Miloš Zeman since at least 2001, when Zeman was Prime Minister; and his business interests are alleged to have benefited from the association. In 2001, Zeman oversaw the sale ofUnipetrol, a state-owned chemical company, to Babiš. Babiš pulled out of the sale, but later oversaw the sale of the firm to a Polish company. The sale was tainted by a massive bribery scandal, according to Polish reports, although Babis denies any bribes were paid. The Unipetrol deal is often cited as evidence of a strong partnership between Babiš and Zeman that persists.

Babiš has a reputation for surrounding himself with senior police officers, security agents, and former Communist informers, to help him consolidate power.

In May 2015, after the government's decision to extend reduced taxation of biofuels (a segment of the fuel market controlled significantly by companies in the Agrofert portfolio), the opposition decided to initiate a vote of no confidence against the cabinet.

On 26 May 2015, Babiš has said while speaking to the Chamber of Deputies that he was forced to enter politics because of corrupted opposition which 'created him'.

Andrej Babiš has been many times quoted saying that he would like to be the next Prime Minister of the Czech Republic If ANO 2011 had led the government. 


Alleged KGB connection and StB cooperation

Babiš has been called a career communist who used his background with the StB (the Communist-era Czechoslovak secret police) to enrich himself. Babis denies that he was an agent of the KGB or StB -- he says he was a victim that was forced to cooperate -- but his close associates still include Libor Široký, now chairman of Agrofert’s supervisory board. Siroky is reportedly a former member of one of the secret-police units most closely linked to the Soviet KGB. Critics who accuse him of KGB connections also point to his support for the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, and his opposition to international sanctions against Russia.

According to the information of the Nation's Memory Institute in Slovakia, during the rule of the communist régime in Czechoslovakia Babiš collaborated with the StB (State Security Police), under the code name Bureš. He himself denies the accusations and in 2013 he sued the Institute. However, neither he nor his witnesses appeared at court originally. The trial was adjourned to January 2014, after the elections.

Code name of Bureš consists of 12 unrelated cases which were investigated by StB from 1982 to 1985, according to the Slovak Nation's Memory Institute. Babiš appeared once at the court during the process. The District Court in Bratislava issued a result on June 26, 2014 that there is a lack of evidence to put Andrej Babiš on a list of former intentional cooperators of StB. It means that Babiš cannot be considered as an intentional agent of StB. Nation's Memory Institute announced it will appeal to higher court. On 30 June 2015, Bratislava's County Court upheld the verdict.

Opposition MP Miroslav Kalousek said it no longer matters what the Slovak Nation's Memory Institute has to say about Babiš, because his behaviour as a politician, and especially this tactic, has proven his StB training.


Babiš was also accused by the public and opposition for promoting his companies in government procurements. He also was the main reason why opposition parties ODSTOP 09 and Dawn decided to call on vote against the government of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka which was unsuccessful.

Magazine Foreign Policy named him as Babisconi which refers to his surname Babiš and surname of former Italian oligarchy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, known for his political and oligarchy scandals. Babiš replied that he is prepared to and will sue the magazine, but it was a threat he never carried out.

In August 2015, the Swiss weekly L'Hebdo published an article questioning why Czech oligarchs love to purchase the media outlets, and why they love Francophone Switzerland. The article focused heavily its attention on Babiš, and on his purchase of media outlets in the Czech Republic. The author pointed out that Babiš claimed to invest in MfD only for profits, but that he had no answer when told it was unprofitable investment. However, journalists for his papers are now seen as doing his work.

Conflict of interests

He has been criticized by media and opposition politicians for his alleged conflict of interestas the Minister of Finance and owner of the companies subsidized by EU funding programmes. During a visit to the Czech Republic in March 2014, the German Member of the European Parliament Ingeborg Gräßle expressed concerns that a person with such a massive personal financial interest and simultaneously a leading representative of a state cannot guarantee to the EU that its resources are properly distributed. A 2014 article in the political newspaper Politico expressed the situation in stark terms: "The Czech Republic is now a paradox: a society disgusted with corruption has given huge power to a man whose business interests amount to the biggest conflict of interest in the country’s post-1989 history."

On 5 June 2015 a retired senior American intelligence officer published an opinion article using Babiš as an example of a corrupt politician with conflicts of interest and probable ties to Russia. In the article, he wondered whether the recent American government investigations into bribery and corruption in FIFA may herald a more aggressive attempt to investigate other corrupt practices. The article pointed out that several investigations were launched by a team of police and prosecutor, who have launched questionable cases that do not hold up in court. The article drew heavily on published sources in the media.


In June 2015, Babiš provoked controversy when a Member of Parliament, Ladislav Šincl, "criticised the Finance Ministry's changing position on a bill reducing commissions for life insurance mediators in the Chamber of Deputies and indicated that Babiš's business interests may be behind it. " On 17 June 2015, Babiš met with the ČSSD deputy Ladislav Šincl and accused him of corruption and taking bribes from businessman and senator Ivo Valenta, who owns hazard group Synot. According to the witnesses, Babiš brought at the meeting a folder marked with yellow note named Šincl and started yelling at Šincl that he knows that Šincl takes bribes from Valenta and is corrupted. Later he moved on his family and former Šincl's jobs. This meeting took place after Sincl had suggested that the Ministry of Finance had changed its position on an insurance matter because the change would benefit Babiš's commercial interests.

On 18 June 2015, Babiš admitted he had folder with his name but declined that he intimidated Šincl saying: "It's not the materials. It's articles from media. Do media write lies? I just showed what media write, I think they do their job good. When I go on meeting, I prepare myself so I know with whom I negotiate." Babiš's coalition partners ČSSD (Šincl's party) and KDU-ČSL demanded an apology but Babiš refused to do so and claimed that Šincl had lied about him in the ParliamentBohuslav Sobotka, Czech Prime Minister and the chairman of ČSSD called on a coalition meeting on the same day.

Šincl said Babiš' tactic, of reading potentially embarrassing facts about him from a file marked with his name, was reminiscent of the tactics of the StB.  Miroslav Kalousek, the first deputy chairman of the opposition party TOP09 accused Babiš of using StB's practices. Babiš declined it.

Personal life

Andrej Babiš is in relationship with Monika Babišová, although she has same surname as him, they're not married. The couple have been together for 20 years and have 2 children. He is also divorced and has 2 other children with his former wife.

The object of mass VOTE: 

Andrej Babiš

Czech Republic

Rate the damage it causes (does not cause) the object of VOTE to the European Commonwealth.

Method of ethical VOTE is to choose one of the following  values:

 0 - moral, there is no prejudice to the European community;
-1, -2, -3 - minor damage, harm to the European community;
-4, -5, -6 - damage of medium gravity for the European community;
-7, -8, -9, -10 - substantial damage, harm to the European community.


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