Daily news summary


Radiožurnál: Czech branch of Huawei shares sensitive client data with Chinese embassy

Employees in the Czech branch of Chinese company Huawei routinely collect sensitive data about officials and business people with whom they come into contact and share it with the country’s embassy, Czech Radio’s flagship station Radiožurnál reports.

The station found evidence of the practice while examining how Huawei operates in the Czech Republic. Two former company managers, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed close cooperation between Huawei workers and Chinese intelligence, despite the company’s denials.

Czech and Western intelligence services are convinced that to have Huawei roll out national infrastructure such as the 5G network would represent a security threat. The company told Radiožurnál in a statement that it fully complies with GDPR rules regarding privacy.

Czech President Miloš Zeman has said that Huawei is being tarred without any proof as part of what he called unfair business practices.

Babiš: Country to put forward two candidates for Commission post

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says the Czech Republic will offer two female candidates for the post of the country’s European commissioner. He made the comment in a Facebook post, adding that the Prague government had until August 26 to make a selection. Mr. Babiš did not name the prospective nominees.

The PM said after European Parliament elections in May that the country’s candidate would again be Věra Jourová, who is currently commissioner for justice, consumer protection and equality. However, some voices in the ANO party have called for the job to go to MEP Dita Charanzová.

Mr. Babiš said he planned to discuss the matter with the new president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, whom he has asked for a meeting.

Fiala eyes anti-ANO alliance for next general elections

The leader of the opposition Civic Democrats, Petr Fiala, says he plans to hold talks on possible cooperation with other conservative and liberal parties before the next scheduled general elections in 2021, Czech Television reported. Mr. Fiala said he wished to form a team that would defeat government leaders ANO and carry out reforms in education, digitalisation and the battle against bureaucracy.

The chairman of the Mayors and Independents, Vít Rakušan, has already raised the idea of building a bloc of parties before the next elections. This call was welcomed by TOP 09, while the Czech Pirate Party said they would prefer to go it alone.

Ministry readies legal action over major police cars tender

Ministry of the Interior is preparing to take legal action against the Czech Republic’s anti-trust authority after it overturned a tender process to purchase police cars for over CZK 2 billion, Czech Television reported. The Office for the Protection of Business Competition argued that the tender favoured Škoda Auto. Ministry officials say the ruling is discriminatory.

The Ministry of the Interior wishes to buy up to 4,000 vehicles that would replace police cars with over 260,000 kilometres on the clock.

South Moravian Region police chief Leoš Tržil told Czech Television that the overturning of the tender decision put police work in danger.

Audit: Almost CZK 1 billion investment in waterways shows no results

The Czech state has put CZK 927 million into a system of locks on the Labe (Elbe) River that has not yet been built, the Supreme Audit Office says. The auditors say that water transport has in the long term played a very small role in the expedition of goods in the Czech Republic.

The Supreme Audit Authority was looking into a Ministry of Regional Development project launched in 2014 to foster water transport in the Czech Republic.

Only about 1 percent of all cargo in the Czech Republic is transported by water. The main reason for this is the unreliability of the Labe and Vltava rivers, which are not always navigable.

The project examined by the auditors conceives of the construction of a lock system at Děčín.

Residents seek change of name of street honouring Red Army commander

More than 100 people have petitioned the local authority in Prague 3 seeking to have the name of the street Koněvova changed, the news site Pražský deník reported. The street, a key artery in the capital, has been named after Red Army general Ivan Konev since 1946, a year after the Soviets liberated some parts of the Czech lands, including Prague.

However, Konev was also the supreme commander of Russian forces during the violent suppression of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956.

Some residents of the Žižkov district are against renaming the street, arguing that it would involve excessive bureaucracy, Pražský deník said.

Slavia beat Teplice 5:1 to maintain perfect start

Reigning Czech football champions Slavia Prague maintained their perfect start to the new season by sailing past Teplice 5:1 away in the second round. Teplice were reduced to 10 men for almost 45 minutes of Sunday evening’s game after Jakub Mareš was sent off.

Viktoria Plzeň and Opava also have six points from two outings after beating Liberec and Příbram, respectively, at the weekend.

Hejnová reaches podium in hurdles at London Diamond League meeting

The Czech 400 metres hurdles specialist Zuzana Hejnová finished second in a Diamond League athletics meeting in London on Sunday. Hejnová’s time of 54.33 was her second best of the season and she was only beaten by Rushell Clayton of Jamaica. No US athletes took part in the hurdles in London in view of their forthcoming national championships.

Hejnová, who is 32, is a two-time world champion in 400 metres hurdles, winning in 2013 and 2015.

Weather forecast

Tuesday should be mainly sunny in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to 28 degrees Celsius. The remainder of the week is expected to see sunshine and daytime highs of up to 33 degrees Celsius.