Babis can manage state finances but is in conflict of interests

Šéf hnutí ANO Andrej Babiš vystoupil 23. listopadu v Průhonicích u Prahy na briefingu po setkání vyjednávacích týmů ČSSD a ANO.

published: 23.12.2013, 16:36 | updated: 23.12.2013 16:57:30

Prague -Reps of business associationsare mostly of the opinion that Andrej Babis, the head of movement ANO, can manage state finances, but they point at the fact that as an entrepreneur and owner of media companies he is in conflict of interests, according to a CTK survey.

In the nascent Czech coalition government, Babis is the candidate for the post of finance minister and deputy PM for the economy.

Analysts and reps of companies mostly welcome the nomination of Social Democrat (CSSD) Jan Mladek for the post of industry and trade minister.

"Andrej Babis is an experienced manager and he will undoubtedly cope with the tasks of finance minister, as well as with coordination of the other ministers from the economic sector. The question is how he will cope with the work of top state official which is not too creative," said Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Crafts (AMSP) president Karel Havlicek.

Nevertheless, Havlicek sees conflict of interests in several areas in Babis´s new role.

"I think that the coming period will not be easy for him. He will be closely watched and every activity of his companies will be immediately seen in the context of his post of finance minister.

Association of Entrepreneurs vice-president Martin Macura is also of the opinion that as regards Babis, it is a clear conflict of interests. Only time will tell how Babis will behave.

"Nevertheless, it is very strange that a candidate for the post of finance minister has no time to study the law on the state budget. The management of the Financial Analytical Department should have been transferred from the finance minister to the government a long time ago. It gives Mr. Babis a huge power and we will see how he will use it," he added.

Patria Finance analyst David Marek pointed at the fact that the post of deputy PM for the economy serves in the government practically only for coordination. Merging of this position with the post of finance minister can be seen as the strengthening of the Finance Ministry´s powers of coordination of economic policy across sectors. This gives the minister higher chances to oversee budgetary discipline and reach budget targets, he noted.

Confederation of Industry president Jaroslav Hanak expects his cooperation with Babis to be good and thinks that the combination of the posts of finance minister and deputy PM is a good solution.

"We want and will cooperate with anyone whose efforts are aimed at higher competitiveness of our country and support to industry," Hanak commented on the nomination of Jan Mladek.

Mladek is basically the only CSSD rep who understands economic policy, is not dogmatic and can be talked with, Havlicek noted.

"I expect him to act as an expert opponent in the government," he added.

Macura recalled that Mladek was shadow finance minister for the CSSD and in the last few years gave his opinions almost exclusively on topics falling under the Finance Ministry.

His candidature for industry and trade minister is therefore surprising because since 1999 when he was deputy PM for economic policy, he has not dedicated his attention to the Industry and Trade Ministry´s topics.

Author:
www.ctk.cz

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