Secret Police Skeletons

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

By now it’s reached the cliché-stage to call the new presumptive Czech Republic prime minister, Andrej Babiš, the “Czech Donald Trump.” Sadly, people like to do so – among other, obvious, reasons – because the comparison is so true. The main aspect here is that Babiš is also rather rich, said to be the second-richest person in the country, so that a great part of his political appeal undoubtedly is voters’ confidence that someone who has been so successful in his personal financial life must be able to perform in the same way for the country.

Oh, and he also does not hold back when it comes to advancing those private financial interests using his public powers; we know that from his record as Treasury Minister in the outgoing government.

But now the leading Czech business newspapere, Hospodářské noviny, brings up another parallel people may have started to forget: Babiš’ unsavory pre-Revolution past.

“Agent Bureš”: That was said to be Babiš’ code-name in filed reports about his alleged collaboration with the StB, the Czechoslovak secret police back in the bad old Communist days, dating from when he was reported to have sat down as a 28-year-old in 1982 at a specific cafe in downtown Bratislava to sign a collaboration agreement. Now, Babiš’ own father was a high-ranking Czechoslovak Communist official, in fact a diplomat, meaning that young Babiš mostly lived and was educated abroad. Naturally, he then grabbed an excellent regime job as a young adult, working for the Slovak international trade company and even representing it for a while in Morocco.

So working secretly for the regime in some way was pretty much baked-in for Andrej Babiš. The real question is: How enthusiastically? (more…)

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