The American media and Americans, alike, often miss out on major events that are happening because of having an entire ocean between us and Continental Europe. In general, we find that we are often isolated and don’t always get the important happenings going on.
You might be asking yourself, “So? What does European politics and events have to do with me?” Well, the unfortunate truth is that it has a lot to do with us, despite the distance. The EU is a major driver in everything that happens to the world economy and world politics.
Those who love politics or are dedicated investors in the EU make it their business to keep up with things going on over there, but for the average American, trying to focus on domestic EU politics isn’t a huge deal because it has little context to them. However, it’s times like these that the side effects of what happens in the EU seep across the ocean. The recent scandal of the Czech Republic Prime Minister, Andrej Babis, will affect a lot of things.
The Czech Republic only has about 10 million people, and due to the distance, it’s understandable that a lot of American people are not aware of the recent scandal. The country itself is considered to be economically sound. However, the rumors and evidence of corruption are starting to impact the confidence that investors have in the country. This is why it is such a huge deal in European local news.
The concept of corruption in politics and business is not new, especially in Warsaw Pact countries. However, the thing that makes Babis’s case interesting is the fact that he is the second wealthiest man in the Czech Republic. Before becoming Prime Minister, he was the owner of a conglomerate named Agrofert. It is posing a problem much like American is having with Donald Trump separating himself as President of the United States from the Trump Organization.
The local government found Babis guilty, but of course, Babis is appealing the decision. However, the ruling gives the EU the right to take up the case. Due to the EU investigation and the role that he played during the OKD affair, Babis is finding himself deeper and deeper (as reported by policie.cz: https://www.policie.cz/clanek/obvineni-znalce-v-kauze-okd.aspx).
Unfortunately, the inquiry into Babis is actually causing the people of the Czech Republic a lot of issues. Countries that are apart of the Warsaw Pact constantly have to keep improving their institutions in order to consistently attract foreign investors, but with the talk of corruption around Babis, a lot of invests are starting to shy away from investing into the country. When political figures, especially those at the head of a country prove to be corrupt and do things that can harm their people, it is important to be able to vote them out of office for the betterment of the entire country and their people.
The most recent ruling, which is holding Babis responsible and liable, is an excellent step in the right direction. It shows that countries should be able to take on a mogul that has political power, and they should be able to take steps to get them out of office so the harm does not continue. EU and the Czech government are supposed to be releasing their full reports on the situation sometime in April, and it is important for anyone that is against global anti-corruption efforts to be aware of the full reports and what is decided.