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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:13 pm 
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Anti-establishment billionaire leads race to become Czech prime minister, Tim Gosling, Prague, 14 October 2017

Pragmatic but unpredictable, Mr Babiš is often compared to Donald Trump due to his wealth, populist agenda, and Teflon-like ability to brush off financial scandals and coarse outbursts.

And like Mr Trump, his views on integration, immigration and Russia have left many in Europe eyeing his poll lead with nervousness. His political vision has won him considerable support amongst an electorate hugely disappointed that their standard of living still trails their German neighbours 13 years after accession to the EU, and spooked by the migrant crisis - even if only a dozen refugees have taken up residence in the country.

Just as important to Mr Babiš, claim critics, is that his agrochemicals giant Agrofert receives large EU subsidies and controls companies across the bloc. ANO, a centrist and populist party he founded in 2011, is running an election campaign centred on the billionaire’s simplistic promise to run the country like his business, the Czech Republic’s largest private employer.

Along with a pledge to destroy the “corrupt system” that has taken root in the Czech Republic since communism fell in 1989, those policies have helped him attract the support of about 30 per cent of the electorate, polls show. Most of those are older voters and from outside the urban centres.

But critics say Mr Babiš is an autocrat who will damage democracy and is in no position to campaign on an anti-corruption platform. Police recently laid fraud charges against him over a €2 million EU subsidy to a hotel development. Mainstream parties have said they won’t form a coalition under a prime minister facing criminal indictment, though it is unclear if they will stand by that commitment if he wins the election.

Polls show the ruling party struggling to keep up with ANO’s slick election campaign, despite moving to the right in an effort to outflank Mr Babiš on immigration. The CSSD practically forced the EU to impose an infringement procedure against the Czech Republic in summer, as it announced it would no longer take part in the bloc’s migrant quota scheme. The country has accepted just 12 of the 2,691 refugees it has been assigned.

Mr Babiš is ready to push even further, however, and has backed president Zeman’s controversial call to cooperate with Russia in addressing the migrant crisis. Those views have left many in Brussels eyeing his poll lead with apprehension.
(full article)

Oh dear. And here, I was thinking Czechia seemed to be doing so well. Some more mil-spec Psychological Warfare electioneering appears as though it may be afoot. Wow, these bold bastards just aren't going to stop until they destroy the world of good or are stopped, are they?

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