Tag Archives: Andrej Babiš

Czech opposition narrowly prevails

Brussels 09.10.2021 The Czech Republic’s opposition prevailed over Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s party in this weekend’s parliamentary elections.

The Three-party coalition, Together, won 27.78% of the vote in the two-day elections, narrowly edging out Babis’s ANO party which won 27.13%, according to Reuters.

A third opposition coalition, the Pirate/Mayors, came in third with 15.6% of the vote.

Together and the Pirate/Mayors are set to win 108 of the 200 seats in the lower house of the Czech Parliament, according to Reuters.

Petr Fiala, who leads Together, said the groups have “brought a chance that we will stop getting in debt, that we will remain a part of democratic Europe,” he said. “The results are clear, the democratic opposition won a clear majority.”

However Babis conceded his coalition’s loss, he said that he would lead talks on forming a cabinet if he is appointed by President Milos Zeman, according to The Associated Press.

Zeman has previously said that he would allow the leader of the strongest party, not coalition, to form a new government, the outlet noted.

Incumbent Prime Minister Babis has faced multiple scandals during his term as Prime Minister, but his ANO party was still favored to win the two-day election. This election notably came just after the release of the Pandora papers, which focused on his financial dealings overseas.

The Pandora Papers, released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, reveal that Babis acquired $22 million villa in France in 2009. The research claimed that he appeared to have routed the money through shell companies in the British Virgin Islands, Washington, D.C., and a real estate management firm in Monaco.

UN reports numbers of illegal migrants to EU

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 51,782 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 18 July 2018. That total compares to 110,189 at this time last year, and 244,722 at this time in 2016.

Arrivals to Spain (see chart below) this month have overtaken those to Italy. To date just over 36 per cent of all Mediterranean irregular migrants have come via the Western Mediterranean route, whose irregular migration volume has nearly tripled those registered at this time last year.

Arrivals to Italy are nearly identical, but still trail Spain by just over 800 arrivals. Greece counts about 29 per cent of all arrivals. Significantly, Greece’s arrivals thus far in 2018 are running almost 5,000 ahead of last year’s totals on this date, an increase of better than 50 per cent. Arrivals to Italy, on the other hand, are down over 80 per cent compared to 2017 data.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Thursday that the number (3,136) of irregular migrant arrivals to Italy by sea in June this year was the lowest recorded by Italian authorities since 2014.

Nonetheless, in the month of June, the Central Mediterranean route linking Italy to North Africa recorded the highest number of deaths along this channel in the past four years. In June 2018, some 564 migrants were reported drowned or missing in the waters between North Africa and Sicily. That compares with 529 in 2017, with 388 in 2016, five in 2015 and 314 in 2014. Through 18 July, 153 additional fatalities have been recorded on this route.

In spite of the slightly lower numbers of illegal migrants arriving this year in comparison with the last year, the numbers of arrivals remain high, causing criticism of politicians insisting Europe has no capacity to host “all in need around the globe”. “EU can not accept all the migrants from the planet” – Czech Prime minister Andrej Babiš  said, commenting situation with illegal migration.