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RSC Editorial
April 13, 2015

Now the Czechs Have an Oligarch Problem, Too

by
Dr. Andrew Foxall

Originally published in Foreign Policy

Czech oligarch Andrej Babis, his country’s second-richest man and one of the most politically powerful billionaires in the world, is expanding his business empire into Prague’s corridors of power.

Babis currently serves as finance minister, but his ambitions are far grander. The rise of Babis — nicknamed “Babisconi,” after Italian billionaire turned prime minister Silvio Berlusconi — marks a turning point in his country’s post-communist history.

Since its “Velvet Divorce” with Slovakia in 1993, the Czech Republic has made a rapid transition to democracy and market economics, enjoying some of Europe’s highest growth rates and becoming an active member of the EU. Like its Central European neighbors, the new country flourished and became, initially, a remarkable success story. But in recent years, its liberal democracy has weakened.

Read the full article here

Dr. Andrew Foxall

About Dr. Andrew Foxall

Dr. Andrew Foxall is Director of the Russia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society. He is responsible for overseeing research and advocacy relating to the study of contemporary politics and the promotion of human rights and political liberty in the Russian Federation.

Full profile  |  See all of Dr. Andrew Foxall's work