November 16 rally against Andrej Babiš at Letná. via Raymond Johnston

Million Moments plans next wave of anti-government rallies across the Czech Republic

Prague, Jan 7 (CTK) – The Million Moments for Democracy group plans its next wave of 14 protests against PM Andrej Babiš and public discussions, entitled Relay Run for Democracy, to start in late February and gradually take place in all 13 regional centres and finally in Prague, its leader Mikuláš Minář said today.

The goal of the series of events is to bring attention to important issues facing the whole of the Czech Republic as well as to local problems, Minar told journalists.

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According to the group, the conflict of interest of PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) is deepening and the group will thus continue calling for his resignation.

The group wants to gradually tour the whole country until June 2021 and make sure democratic parties win the general election later in that year.

“We will spread important information about the problems and failures of Andrej Babiš all around the republic. We will strengthen the civic pressure on his resignation and offer space for individual initiative and creativity to people in the regions. The [rallies in] the regional centres will, however, be only the beginning,” Minar said.

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“We will criss-cross the whole republic until June 2021. But the future beyond Babiš will be a much important topic than Babiš’s resignation. That is why our shared goal for the next two years is to make sure democratic parties win in the next parliamentary election,” he added.

Million Moments for Democracy wants to achieve this by turning each citizen into a kind of media that will make sure as many people as possible learn about the PM’s problems.

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The group will also call on democratic opposition parties to present a clear vision, an active effort to engage new voters and launch mutual cooperation.

Last year, Million Moments staged a series of protests including two in Prague that became the largest public rallies since November 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution. Each of them, held in June and in November, was attended by about 250,000 people. Besides, the group organised smaller meetings in Prague and elsewhere.

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Last year, a European Commission audit concerning the subsidies going to Czechia from the EU structural funds, stated that Babiš is in a conflict of interest because in his capacity as PM he influences the distribution of subsidies in Czechia and simultaneously he is a beneficiary of the subsidised giant holding Agrofert, though he placed it in trust funds in 2017.

On Monday, the Neovlivni.cz server wrote that another EC audit, which checked agricultural subsidies, also found Babiš to be in a conflict in interest, as he continues to control the Agrofert chemical, agricultural, food and media group.

The Agriculture Ministry and the State Agricultural Intervention Fund said they had not received the EC’s final report in this respect, but only had documents for bilateral talks with the EC scheduled for late January.

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