Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babich, a wealthy businessman who struggled to form a government, has signed an agreement with the Communist Party in-country to share power; other political parties refused to join as Babich was accused of past corruption, which he denies. He is running on a nationalist platform to instill a businessman’s viewpoint on government, similar to American President Donald Trump.
“There was a sort of sense that you don’t do deals with communists,” said Dalibor Rohac, a research fellow at American Enterprise Institute. “All of these norms have gone out of the window. They were probably never deeply rooted to begin with,” wrote the Wall Street Journal.
According to the terms, the Communists agreed to “tolerate” Mr. Babis’s government, giving him the votes he needs to survive a no-confidence motion scheduled for Wednesday. In return, Mr. Babis agreed to tax the compensation the Czech state gives churches who had property seized during the 41 years of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. The Communist Party also proposed increases in the minimal wage and a more nationalist stance on some foreign investment.
The Czech Republic, along with other members of the Central European ‘Visegrad Group’ of nations, have been in a running battle with the European Union over plans to force countries to take a quota of refugees. The EU Parliament has instituted ‘infringement procedures’ to punish these countries for not following dictates from Brussels.
Liberal parties across Europe decried the association with the Communist Party, which conjures up memories of past repression, ended by the Velvet Revolution in 1989.