Sunday, 22 October 2017

EconLab: The Greens have most honest financing of all political parties

ČTK |
3 October 2017

Prague, Oct 2 (CTK) - The Greens, Pirates and Communists (KSCM) have the clearest financing of all Czech parties when it comes to the link with the business sphere, economists from the EconLab association at Charles University told journalists on Monday.

On the other hand, food and media mogul Andrej Babis' ANO and the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) received the worst rating in the evaluation of the possible conflict of interests with a focus on 12 parties.

The companies linked with ANO have received contracts and subsidies worth roughly four billion crowns in the current election term, the economists said.

Along with the companies with ANO representatives, there were the firms that sponsored ANO between 2013 and 2017.

The donors included the companies Eltodo and Skoda JS, Jiri Skuhrovec, from the EconLab, said. When it comes to the ODS, "firms with a political connection" obtained contracts and subsidies for 2.9 billion crowns.

Skuhrovec spoke about the Brno company D-Pharm which donated 4.75 million crowns to the ODS and went bankrupt last year.

The Social Democrats received the worst rating, five, for financial stability because roughly 45 percent of their incomes were from external sources.

In the case of ANO, it was roughly 41 percent and in the case of Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) 93 percent.

"If a party has large obligations towards private creditors, they can considerably influence it," Skuhrovec said.

The SPD also received the worst rating when it comes to the information it provides on its financing.

Along with the Citizens Rights Party (SPO), it had the largest share of gifts from an economically inactive firm or a company whose owner cannot be found.

The assessment carried out by EconLab was based on annual reports on the financing of parties and their transparent accounts.

The evaluation of incomes of parties will be followed up by an assessment of expenditures on the election campaign, to be published by Transparency International next week.

EconLab (former Applied Economy Centre) is an association at the Institute of Economic Studies of Charles University (IEUK). It is designed to support economic research with a focus on public politics. It is largely comprised of IEUK students and graduates. It was established in 2011.

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