Young corn growing in dry environment, drought season. Photo: stevanovicigor

Czechs need money for investments, not green projects says PM Babiš

The Czech Prime Minister also remains critical of the proposed distribution of money from the EU recovery fund

Prague, July 16 (CTK) – The European Union multiannual financial framework still plans to give a large portion of funds to green projects, a decision considered problematic, by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis who says the Czech Republic would need this money for investments instead.

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The Prime Ministers’ statements came before he left for an EU summit Thursday.

Babis also remains critical of the proposed distribution of money from the EU recovery fund. He said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economies of individual countries wouldn’t be known until next year, and only then would it be clear how the finances should be distributed.

“We will be able to calculate the impact of the crisis only next year,” he pointed out.

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EU member countries will be able to get up to 750 billion euros through the recovery fund in order to restart their economies after the pandemic, but these countries have not agreed on the rules for the distribution of the money yet.

Some of their leaders, Babis included, criticized the fact that the unemployment rate in the past five years should be an important criterion that factors into the decision. European Council President Charles Michel partly accepted their requirements and wants to distribute at least one-third of the subsidies irrespective of this criterion.

“Although the European Council President answered our main criticism, we keep considering it unfair. The proposal is not just and effective,” Babis said.

He said too much money from the financial framework for 2021-2027 is to go to measures for the environmental transformation of the EU. Despite many adopted measures in this sphere, the Czech Republic does not have the capacity to spend so much money, he added.

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Babis said his country first of all needs investments. He said he would like more money for cohesion policy that aims at reducing the differences between the richer and poorer EU regions.

Babis said he expected hard negotiations at the summit because the positions of European politicians were very different before the summit. “It will be difficult to seek an agreement,” he said.

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