|Real Name:||Andrej Babiš|
|Occupation:||Food and Beverage|
|Birth Day:||September 2, 1954|
|Birth Place:||Prague, Czech Republic, Czech Republic|
|#4||Andrej Babiš Jr.||Children||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
Babiš was born on 2 September 1954 in Bratislava to a Slovak father from Hlohovec and a Carpathian German mother from Yasinia, now Zakarpattia Oblast of Ukraine. His father, a diplomat and member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, represented Czechoslovakia during the negotiation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Geneva and as a consultant at the United Nations. On his mother's side, he is the nephew of Ervin and Viera Scheibner.
Babiš spent part of his childhood abroad, and was educated in Paris and Geneva. Later, he studied at a gymnasium in Bratislava and continued to the University of Economics, where he studied international trade. In 1978, after graduating, he joined the Slovak communist controlled international trade company, Chemapol Bratislava, which later became Petrimex. In 1985 he was appointed as the organisation's representative in Morocco. He joined the Communist Party in 1980. He has been accused of being a "powerful agent" for the Czechoslovak secret state security service, StB, during the 1980s, as well as being in contact with KGB.
Babiš returned from Morocco to Czechoslovakia in 1991, after the Velvet Revolution, and settled in the Czech Republic after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
In January 1993, Babiš became managing director of a newly established Petrimex subsidiary operating in the Czech Republic, Agrofert. He had suggested establishing Agrofert while he was a director at Petrimex, during which time Agrofert was recapitalised by OFI, a company of unknown ownership based in Baar, Switzerland, which took control of Agrofert from Petrimex. Petrimex later fired Babiš and sued him, unsuccessfully, for allowing the firm's stake in Agrofert to be diluted. Soon thereafter, Babiš emerged as the 100% owner of Agrofert. The source of the initial financing for Babiš's takeover of Agrofert from Petrimex was still undisclosed as of the start of 2016, although Babiš has said that the money came from his Swiss former schoolmates.
Babiš has been linked closely to President Miloš Zeman since at least 2001, when Zeman was Prime Minister, and his business interests are alleged to have benefited from the association. In 2001, Zeman oversaw the sale of Unipetrol, a state-owned chemical company, to Babiš. Babiš pulled out of the sale, but later oversaw the sale of the firm to a Polish company. According to Polish reports, the sale was accompanied by substantial bribery, although Babis denies any bribes were paid. The Unipetrol deal is cited often as evidence of a strong partnership between Babiš and Zeman that persists.
Babiš responded to Applebaum with a letter to The Washington Post stating that he had no friends in Russia and was an American ally. US journalist Gabriel Meyr challenged those claims by citing three examples of actions Babiš has taken that have furthered Russian policy goals, such as a Czech government loan guarantee to a Russian company with a record of defaults, owned by a close friend of President Putin. Another example was the Czech Finance Ministry's continued racing of the thoroughbred horses owned by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, a close ally of Putin, even though he is under international sanctions. The final example was that Babis had disclosed in 2007 that Agrofert was negotiating to purchase gas from the Czech subsidiary of Gazprom instead of its German supplier.
Babiš gradually developed Agrofert into one of the largest companies in the country, starting as a wholesale and trading firm, but later acquiring various agricultural, food processing, and chemical companies. In 2011 Agrofert Holding consisted of more than 230 companies, mainly in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and (Germany). It is the fourth largest company in the Czech Republic by revenue, exceeding CZK 117 billion. The history of Agrofert, detailed in a book by the journalist Tomáš Pergler, is closely linked to its control of the Czech petrochemicals industry. One reviewer of the book said the account "captures much of what has led Czechs to the conviction that they live in a corrupted, clientist country – and (paradoxically) then to vote for the ANO movement." When Babiš entered politics he resigned as CEO, but remained sole owner until February 2017, when he was legally obliged to put his companies in a trust to remain as Minister of Finance.
In 2011, Babiš founded his party, ANO 2011, "to fight corruption and other ills in the country's political system". The party contested the legislative elections in October 2013 and emerged as the second largest party, with 47 seats (of 200) in the Chamber of Deputies. The American political consulting firm, Penn Schoen Berland, was credited with the party's successful result.
According to the documents of the National Memory Institute in Slovakia, Babiš collaborated with the State Security Police (StB) of communist Czechoslovakia, under the code name agent Bureš. He denies the accusations, and in 2012 sued the institute for defamation. In January 2018, the Bratislava regional court ruled definitively that Babiš was an StB agent. This final court case may not be appealed.
While Babiš's business activities initially focused mainly on agriculture, he later acquired a large empire of media companies. In 2013, Agrofert purchased the company MAFRA, publisher of two of the biggest Czech newspapers, Lidové noviny and Mladá fronta DNES, and operator of the Óčko television company. Agrofert also owns Radio Impuls, the most listened to radio station in the Czech Republic (as of late 2014). These acquisitions have led critics to question Babis's political motives, amid accusations that he was amassing too much power, and that the media outlets he controls publish sympathetic coverage of him.
In 2013 Monika changed her surname to Babišová, and they married in 2017. Babiš holds dual citizenship of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He gained Czech citizenship in 2000 by declaration, while maintaining his Slovak citizenship by descent as both of his parents are Slovak citizens.
While Prime Minister, Babiš has also headed the Government Council for Coordinating the Fight against Corruption, with subsequent approval by the Government. Since the establishment of the council in 2014, this post had always been held by a minister, most recently Minister of Justice Robert Pelikán. After his departure, however, the new coordinator of the fight against corruption was not entrusted and the management of the council fell to the prime minister. This move was criticized by opposition parties over conflict of interest. Jan Hamáček stated that it was the Prime Minister's right and he would not act on the issue.
Twelve unrelated cases investigated by StB from 1982 to 1985 were associated with the code name Bureš, according to the Slovak National Memory Institute. Babiš appeared once at the court during the process. The District Court in Bratislava issued a ruling on 26 June 2014 that there was insufficient evidence to put Andrej Babiš on a list of intentional cooperators with StB. The decision was criticised in the Slovak press, and the National Memory Institute announced it would appeal to a higher court. On 30 June 2015, Bratislava's County Court upheld the verdict, but in October 2017 the Slovak Constitutional Court upheld the National Memorial Institute's appeal, annulling the earlier court decisions and finding that Babiš had been an agent of the former communist secret police.
Babis has been criticized by media and opposition politicians for his alleged conflict of interest, as the Minister of Finance and the owner of companies subsidized by EU funding programmes. During a visit to the Czech Republic in March 2014, the German Member of the European Parliament Ingeborg Gräßle expressed concern that someone with such a personal financial interest simultaneously being a leading representative of a state, could not guarantee to the EU that its resources are properly distributed. A 2014 article in the political newspaper Politico commented that "the Czech Republic is now a paradox: a society disgusted with corruption has given huge power to a man whose business interests amount to the biggest conflict of interest in the country’s post-1989 history."
In May 2015, after the government's decision to extend reduced taxation of biofuels (a segment of the fuel market controlled significantly by companies in the Agrofert portfolio), the opposition initiated a vote of no confidence against the cabinet. On 26 May 2015 while speaking to the Chamber of Deputies, Babiš said that he was forced to enter politics because of "corrupted opposition" (referring to the ODS) that "created him". In November 2016, Babiš criticized alleged links among CEFC China Energy, the Czech Social Democratic Party, and Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, saying that CEFC's focus on private Czech companies "brings no yield to the Czech Republic."
In September 2015, deputy prime minister Babiš called for NATO intervention against human trafficking in the Mediterranean. After talks on the migrant crisis with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Babiš said that "NATO is not interested in refugees, although Turkey, a NATO member, is their entrance gate to Europe and smugglers operate on Turkish territory".
In March 2015, Babiš condemned Russia's annexation of Crimea. In October 2015 Anne Applebaum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist specializing in Russian and Eastern European affairs, listed Babiš among several Eastern European leaders who she considered to be agents of influence for Putin's Russia. Writing in The Washington Post, she suggested that old labels from Soviet Communist days, such as "useful idiots" and "fellow travelers", were no longer adequate to describe Babis and the other figures she had named. To illustrate her point, she listed several quotes from each leader that sounded very similar to each other and to the arguments broadcast at the same time by official Russian news sources.
In May 2015, Babis's alleged financial irregularities and accusations from the public and the opposition that he had promoted his companies in government procurements triggered a vote of no confidence against the Bohuslav Sobotka's government, called by the opposition parties ODS, TOP 09, and Dawn. The motion was defeated by 47–105.
In June 2015, Babiš provoked controversy when a member of parliament, Ladislav Šincl of the Social Democrats (ČSSD), criticised a change in policy from the Finance Ministry on a bill reducing commissions for life insurance mediators in the Chamber of Deputies, and alleged that the benefits to Babiš's business interests may be the cause of the change. On 17 June 2015, Babiš met with Šincl and accused him of corruption and taking bribes from businessman and senator Ivo Valenta, owner of the Synot gambling group. According to witnesses, Babiš brought to the meeting a folder marked with a yellow note labelled Šincl, and started shouting at Šincl that he knew Šincl took bribes from Valenta and was corrupt. He later moved onto his family and Šincl's former jobs.
On 18 June 2015, Babiš admitted he had a folder with Šincl's name, but denied intimidation, saying, "It's not the materials. It's articles from the media. Do the media write lies? I just showed what the media writes, I think they do their job well. When I go to a meeting, I prepare myself so I know who I am dealing with". Babiš's coalition partners ČSSD (Šincl's party) and KDU-ČSL demanded an apology, but Babiš refused, saying that Šincl had lied about him in the Parliament. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, also the chairman of ČSSD, called a coalition meeting on the same day.
In August 2015, the Swiss weekly L'Hebdo published an article entitled: "Why do Czech Oligarchs Buy Unprofitable Media Outlets?" examining the purchase of media companies by several Czech business people, and also their connections with Francophone Switzerland. The article focused much of its attention on Babiš, and his purchase of media outlets in the Czech Republic. The author pointed out that Babiš had claimed to invest in Mladá fronta DNES only for profit, but had given no answer when told it was an unprofitable investment, and went on to accuse journalists at Babis's newspapers of doing his work.
In February 2016, on the day commemorating the Communist takeover in 1948, hundreds of protesters opposed to Babiš gathered in Wenceslas Square to protest that Babiš was advancing an agenda that would infringe Czech freedoms, described by leaders of the protest as a quiet revolution, happening in gradual steps.
On 1 September 2016, while visiting Varnsdorf, a city with a large Romani population, Babiš said: "What those idiots [journalists] write in newspapers, that the camp in Lety was a concentration camp, that is a lie, it was a labor camp, people who didn't work ended up there". Babiš's comments were heavily criticized by both coalition partners and opposition MPs, who called on him to resign. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka condemned the remarks on Facebook and advised Babiš to visit the camp.
Andrej Babiš was sacked from the government by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on 24 May 2017 after a month-long coalition crisis triggered by allegations that Babiš avoided paying taxes as CEO of Agrofert in 2012.
Following the 2017 election to the Chamber of Deputies, in which ANO 2011 won with 29% of the vote, and won 78 out of 200 seats, President Miloš Zeman asked Babiš to form a government. The Civic Democratic Party and other parties refused to join a coalition government with Babis, citing the ongoing criminal investigation into alleged EU subsidy fraud and, as a result, on 27 October 2017 Babiš announced that he would try to form a minority government. Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the Communist Party voiced their willingness to join the government, but were refused by Babiš.
On 6 December 2017, Babiš was appointed the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. He assumed office on 13 December 2017, when his government took full control of the executive government. He is the only incumbent head of government to be charged with a crime by the Czech police and prosecutor, as well as both the oldest and the wealthiest Prime Minister in the country's history, and the first Prime Minister from a party other than ODS and ČSSD.
This case was investigated by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). OLAF's final report was delivered to the Czech officers of the Ministry of Finance on 27 December 2017. Journalist Sabina Slonková published a report of the results on the website Neovlivni.cz on 3 January 2018, concluding that OLAF's final report confirmed the results of the investigation by the Czech Police and prosecutors that the fraud was planned from the beginning. The complete text of the final report translated into Czech was published on the website aktualne.cz on 11 January 2018, with a commentary by Vladimir Piskacek, one of the directors of the Economia AS media company, which publishes Hospodářské noviny, defending the right to publish information openly. In April 2019 the police recommended indicting Babiš on the charge of fraud. Babiš subsequently replaced the Minister of Justice with an ally, Marie Benešová, leading to a series of protests across the country that continued into May 2019 and culminated in the protest on 23 June 2019, which with about 250,000 people became the largest Czech protest since the Velvet Revolution of November 1989.
On 1 May 2017, Twitter account @skupinasuman posted a tape of Babiš's private conversations with an unknown number of people, in which he labelled Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek as an "idiot" and attacked investigative journalist Sabina Slonková, among others. On 3 May 2017, a video on YouTube alleged that Andrej Babiš had interfered with the editorial independence of Mladá fronta DNES, the nation's largest quality newspaper by circulation, owned by Babis's trust. In conversation with MF Dnes journalist Marek Přibil he discusses the date of publication of damaging stories about Minister of Interior Milan Chovanec and Minister of Health Miloslav Ludvík. On the tape, Babiš is recorded instructing Přibil to tell František Nachtigall, the director of strategic development, about when and how to publish the stories.
On 16 January 2018, Babiš's cabinet lost a vote of no confidence by 117 votes to 78.
In February 2018, his cabinet approved the European Fiscal Compact and sent it to the Chamber of Deputies for further approval. They also proposed changes to the Civil Service Act, which has been the subject of controversy since it was passed in 2015 by Bohuslav Sobotka's government, in which Babiš served as Minister of Finance.
On 6 June 2018, President Zeman appointed Andrej Babiš as Prime Minister for the second time, calling on him to present him with a proposed list of members of the government. Babiš was sworn in by President Zeman for the second time on 27 June 2018, as the head of a minority government formed from ANO and CSSD representatives. Zeman refused to appoint CSSD deputy and MEP Miroslav Poche as Minister of Foreign Affairs, so he was replaced by CSSD party chairman and Interior Minister Jan Hamacek. CSSD took five seats in the government, and ANO took ten. On 10 July the two parties signed a coalition agreement. Taťána Malá was appointed Minister of Justice for ANO, but resigned 13 days later following allegations of plagiarism in her diploma theses and conflict of interest. Babiš briefly considered consulting with Zeman about the choice for a replacement minister, but in the face of vigorous opposition from opposition parties, he instead nominated Jan Kněžínek, who was sworn in by Zeman on 10 July. On 12 July 2018, shortly after midnight, Babiš's government won a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies by a vote of 105–91, with the external support of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia.
In March 2018, Babiš ordered three Russian diplomats to leave the country in a show of solidarity with the United Kingdom after a former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was poisoned in Salisbury.
In June 2018, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that there had been "no moral or political justification" for the post-war expulsion of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia. Babiš responded: "I reject this characterisation – especially when we recall the horrors of Heydrich, Lidice, Ležáky and the killing of our paratroopers. I have the feeling that there is some internal political struggle in Germany now, and it is very unfortunate that old wounds are opening because of it."
On 11 November 2018, Babiš represented the Czech Republic in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The ceremony was attended by world leaders including US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In mid-November 2018, investigative journalists Sabina Slonková and Jiří Kubík published an interview with Babiš's son, who they had tracked down in Switzerland. Andrej Babiš Jr told the journalists that after the beginning of the Stork Nest affair he was taken to the Crimea, where he was subsequently detained against his will. He also stated that he had signed documents for his father without knowing what they were. Babiš responded that his son was mentally ill, taking medication and required supervision, and that he had left the Czech Republic voluntarily.
In response to the story, the opposition called on Babiš to resign on 13 November 2018. On 15 November 2018, the Senate adopted a resolution that Babiš was unacceptable in the government while the investigation into the Stork's Nest case was continuing, but the same day President Zeman stated that if the Chamber of Deputies voted the government down, he would again ask Babiš to form a new cabinet. On 16 November 2018, Babiš stated that he would not resign. On 23 November 2018, Babiš and his government survived a vote of no confidence, as the communists voted with the government and CSSD deputies left the chamber.
In November 2018, Seznam News television aired an interview with Babiš' son Andrej Babiš Junior (born 1982) in which he alleged that he had been kidnapped by an associate of his father to obstruct the corruption inquiry relating to the Stork's Nest Farm. Babiš Junior was quoted as saying he had been held in Crimea, Kaliningrad, Moscow and Kryvyi Rih in Ukraine, to stop him from giving a statement to the police about his involvement in the case. Prime Minister Babiš denied the kidnapping, but admitted that his son had entered Crimea, among others, also saying that his son suffers from schizophrenia.
At the end of 2018, the National Cyber and Information Security Authority (NUKK) warned that Huawei's 5G mobile technology and telephones were suspected to be linked to Chinese secret services. The warning also concerned the Chinese company ZTE. Babiš ordered the withdrawal of Huawei mobile phones from government offices and met with the Chinese Ambassador to the Czech Republic. Following the meeting, the Chinese Embassy said on its website that "the Chinese side acknowledges the efforts of the Czech government to correct the errors and hopes that the Czech side will take effective measures to prevent the recurrence of similar events". According to Babiš, the Czech government made no mistakes and the Chinese ambassador lied about the meeting. In January 2019, after meeting with Zeman in Lány, Babiš said that "all operators in the Czech Republic are working on Huawei technologies".
On 17 February 2019, at the fifth ANO party conference, Babis was re-elected chairman unopposed, with 206 votes from the 238 delegates present. Babiš was received by President Trump on 7 March 2019 at the White House in Washington, D.C., on his first official visit to the United States. Before the start of bilateral talks, Babiš stated that the alliance between the United States and the Czech Republic had been going on for 100 years since the establishment of Czechoslovakia. He also mentioned the fact that the wife of President T.G. Masaryk was an American. The two leaders discussed topics such as cyber security, the purchase of helicopters for the Czech Army, the possible construction of nuclear power stations in the Czech Republic, and the import of American liquefied gas into Europe. Babis also appealed to the US president not to impose import duties on automotive products from Europe.
On 3 June 2019, Babiš met in Prague with the Burmese leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, with whom he spoke about economic cooperation, education and health development. Babiš praised her efforts to democratize Myanmar.
On 23 June 2019, A Million Moments for Democracy organized another protest against Prime Minister Babiš, in response to his criminal charges and alleged frauds. According to the EU, he has a conflict of interest. About 250,000 people attended the rally, which was the biggest in the country since the Velvet Revolution in 1989.
Another anti-government protest was organized by A Million Moments for Democracy on 16 November 2019, day ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Police estimated some 250,000 people attended the demonstration, a similar turnout to the June 2019 protests.
Currently, Andrej Babis is 68 years, 6 months and 29 days old. Andrej Babis will celebrate 69th birthday on a Saturday 2nd of September 2023.
Find out about Andrej Babis birthday activities in timeline view here.