It was the topic of the very first speech of the new Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkely (on behalf of STAN) in the Chamber of Deputies. He criticized his predecessor Karel Havlíček (for YES) for announcing compensatory subsidies too openly, and so mainly large companies benefited from them.
“I got the impression that money from the helicopter was being wasted here, regardless of whether it would help anyone, whether the money would be used efficiently and whether it would help those who needed it most. It seems absurd to me whether the taxpayers’ money compensates the profits of companies that will probably flow somewhere abroad after the general meetings that will take place sometime this summer, “said Síkela.
List The reports have now obtained a list of companies that drew the largest amounts from the co-subsidies of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. So these are the companies where Minister Sikel got angry in the morning on the floor of the Chamber.
Paradise Casino Admiral, a gambling company, received a maximum of 65 million crowns in the Covid – Uncovered Costs program. The Austrian Johann Graf is registered as the indirect real owner in the register of real owners. The same high amount went to the French Lagardere Travel Retail, which operates retail outlets at stations or airports, for example.
The owner of the O2 Arena Bestsport, which belongs to the PPF Group, as well as billionaire Radovan Vítek’s CPI Hotels, the Regiojet carrier, the Orea Hotels network and Czech Airlines, also used up 65 million.
The MIT, under the former leadership of the YES movement, put large amounts into gambling. In addition to Paradise Casino Admiral, Merkur Casino, almost 56 million Lucky Money and 49 million Net and Games also drew over 58 million crowns.
These are not the only subsidies
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is not the only one to offer subsidy programs to compensate for losses during the covid. For example, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs offered the popular Antivirus program, from which companies went for more than 50 billion crowns.
“It seems to me that the money for my predecessor was distributed very inefficiently. Unless absolutely necessary, we will no longer provide money across the board. If we give any compensation, we will focus on entrepreneurs who can hardly do without such help and at the same time demonstrate a viable business model, at least partially adapted to current market conditions, “added Minister of Industry Síkela.
However, former Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček (ANO) rejects the criticism.
“We originally had sector-oriented programs, but there was a lot of pressure, among other things from the opposition, to make them widespread. Despite the number of applications it was overwhelmingly for small businesses, of course over payments and companies it is higher for larger entities. That’s why we had it for them, “Havlíček explained for Seznam Zprávy.
Support from the Covid – Uncovered Costs and Covid – 2021 support programs could previously be obtained by entrepreneurs who saw a 50 percent drop in sales over the crucial period compared to the same period last year or the year before. The state contributed up to 60 percent of uncovered costs, in the case of COVID – 2021 they received 500 crowns per employee per day, while the minimum support was 1500 crowns.
In the case of the second of the calls, Prague Airport drew the most, namely 45.6 million crowns, similarly to the airline Smartwings and 44.3 million crowns, the internet ticket search engine Kiwi.com. In the top twenty there are also engineering companies Tajmac-ZPS or TOS Varnsdorf or spas, namely in Teplice in Bohemia, Poděbrady, Lázně Bělohrad or Darkov in Karviná.
The editors approached some of the named recipients of state aid and asked what specific losses they managed to cover with this money. We will bring their reactions in the following text.