Some days Adrian Lachata ponders how life would have turned out if he had never left Svidnik.
The 32-year-old engineer would not have graduated from the most prestigious technical faculty in the Czech Republic, where he has lived for the past 11 years since moving from the industrial town in Slovakia's northeast where he grew up.
On an unusually brisk afternoon in May, European flags fluttered alongside anti-fascist banners in Bratislava's old town on the banks of the Danube.
Demonstrators were protesting a meeting of European far-right parties in the Slovak capital ahead of this month's EU elections.
"Freedom is more than a nation," one placard read. "Fascists, entry forbidden," said another.
Babis' pragmatic - or hypocritical - approach to the EU looks likely to serve him well when Czechs vote May 24-25. Polls suggest his party will come first with about 25 per cent of the votes.
This result is all the more remarkable, given that this essentially one-man party has no real ideology, or content in terms of policies.