A preliminary investigation by the European Commission has found Andrej Babis, the Czech prime minister, in breach of conflict-of-interest rules, and the Czech Republic could have to repay EU funds as a result, according to a media report. Hospodarske Noviny, a Czech newspaper, reported on Friday that the EU audit had found that the prime minister had a conflict of interest for more than two years because of continuing ties with his former businesses.
Mr Babis, one of the Czech Republic’s richest men, has repeatedly rejected claims of conflict of interest. He said on Friday that he “strongly rejects this opinion and will fight for it to be changed on the basis of further information from national authorities”. “The Czech Republic will not have to return any subsidies. There is no reason to do so because I do not violate either Czech or EU rules on conflict of interest,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that the report would now be analysed by Czech authorities.