Populist billionaire Andrej Babis was appointed prime minister of the Czech Republic Wednesday, and he immediately took aim at the European Union and illegal immigration.
Babis and his ANO movement won the Czech general election in October by a wide margin. ANO fell short of an absolute majority, and Babis has struggled to find support to reach a majority in parliament. He is also facing charges of defrauding the EU in 2007, and police have asked the parliament to lift his immunity.
Babis is the country’s second wealthiest person, with a net worth of more than $4 billion. He is often compared to U.S. President Donald Trump for his outspoken style and background as a businessman. During his first address as prime minister, Babis vowed to fight human traffickers who bring migrants to Europe illegally.
“Our position on migration is clear,” Babis said, according to The Guardian. “Our country should be more active and propose to the member states and the European commission a solution to illegal migration … And that solution is a fight against human traffickers.”
ANO will face a confidence vote within the next month. The government will likely fail to ensure enough support, but President Miloš Zeman has expressed his intention to re-appoint Babis regardless, of the outcome.
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