>> As Czechs start voting in Europe's latest election, the favorite, populist Andrej Babis, is tipped to win. The wealthy businessman turned politician has pledged to sweep aside traditional parties and keep out refugees. But like the recent German and Austrian elections, a coalition government may be on the cards, as his centrist ANO party isn't expected to secure a majority.
And his call to not accept a single refugee in the country also mirroring the rhetoric of the parties that scored highly in the neighboring elections. While immigration in the Czech Republic is virtually nonexistent, fear has played a big part in the votes. Nearly all parties have pledged to fight EU attempts to force the country to accept refugees distributed across the Bloc.
Babis' ANO movement has also won support from the right and left, with pledges to cut taxes and replace corrupt politicians. But Babis is facing a fraud scandal, which he denies, plus accusations that he'll have too much power on top of his estimated $4 billion business empire. It could mean he'll be asked to stay out of the cabinet.
A coalition deal with the ANO's current partners or center right party may run up against their demands that he personally stays out due to the allegations. That leaves an outside chance of seeking support from the communists and the SPD, the far right anti-EU freedom and direct democracy party.
But that would be negative for the markets and would pose questions are the future policies towards the EU. Voting continues until Saturday with the result which could cause yet more conscience for the European Union