Czech PM worried EU restrictions on emissions could harm economy, wants the issue addressed by EU council

Czech PM Andrej Babiš and Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán during the visit in Northern Bohemia, September 29, 2021. (Facebook)
By Karolina Klaskova
3 Min Read

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said that he had asked for the topic of emission allowances to be included in the European Council’s agenda on Oct. 5. According to him, a quick solution is needed regarding the negative effects of the prices of emission allowances, as the Czech economy may be at risk.

“I wrote a letter yesterday and I also spoke to President Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel,” said Babiš. “The analysis made by the European Commission on the development of emission allowances did not match at all. The allowances are now the subject of speculation, they have a huge negative impact on our industry. The assumptions, therefore, have not been fulfilled at all, and they harm our companies and that harm is being passed on to our inhabitants.”

“We need to prevent speculation, and we need to cap energy prices, as we have done for heating plants,” he added.

Babiš made his remarks about emission allowances during the visit of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to Ústí nad Labem.

In Northern Bohemia, Babiš leads the election candidate of his ANO movement. Orbán’s working visit takes place about a week before the parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic.

After the end of the work program, the two politicians, who maintain good relations and who are both vocal critics of migration to the EU, met with supporters and members of the movement in the Ústí nad Labem theater. In the evening, President Miloš Zeman received Orbán in Lány Chateau.

Babiš spoke about setting the upper limit of the price of emission allowances after Monday’s meeting with President Miloš Zeman at the Lány Chateau. According to Babiš, the next Czech government will face a major battle in the European Union over emissions permits.

Leaders discussed migration and strong mutual relations

The Czech prime minister discussed migration and mutual relations with Orbán, whom Babiš described as a friend. In addition, the Hungarian prime minister appreciated that he had arrived in Ústí nad Labem, because the book “Lovers and Murderers of Vladimír Páral”, which takes place in a North Bohemian industrial city, was a hit for his generation in Hungary.

Orbán emphasized that he did not want to interfere in the Czech elections. According to him, he came to the Czech Republic to confirm the importance of the Czech-Hungarian wing in the Visegrad Four.

Several activists were waiting for the prime ministers in Prague and Ústí nad Labem, who expressed their disagreement with the policy of both men. Orbán said he did not mind because it was part of the prime minister’s job and he believed in fighting for freedom of expression.

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