Daily news summary

Czech intelligence service warns of growing threat of paramilitary groups

The Czech BIS intelligence service has warned of the growing danger of paramilitary groups, which have around 2,000 members in total, iDnes.cz reported. BIS says that some such militia groups are attempting to forge ties with state organisations and members of the national and local police forces, the news site said.

In its latest report on extremism in the Czech Republic, the Ministry of the Interior writes that some paramilitary groups are xenophobic, racist and fiercely opposed to Czech foreign policy. However, they frequently disguise their ideological leanings and promote “defence education”.

iDnes.cz reported that the groups learn how to handle pistols, knives and other weapons and often believe that the Czech Republic could overnight be flooded with migrants keen to subjugate the local population.

Babiš: Poche will never be foreign minister

The Social Democrats’ nominee for foreign minister, Miroslav Poche, has been a very negative force at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Mr. Babiš said on a TV discussion show on Sunday that Mr. Poche, who is currently a political secretary at the ministry, would never head the government department.

President Miloš Zeman refused to appoint Mr. Poche and Social Democrats chairman, Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček, is currently also serving as caretaker foreign minister. The party say they will return to the matter after Senate and municipal elections next month.

Mr. Poche described the prime minister’s words on Sunday as an attack. He said if Mr. Babiš was cooperating with the likes of Hungary’s Viktor Orban he would be hard pressed to find a similarly minded foreign minister within the Social Democrats.

Hot weather seen as partly to blame for summer road death increase

The number of road deaths in the Czech Republic in July and August was one-fifth higher than in the same period last year. While 101 people died on the roads in the holiday months of 2017 this year the figure was 121.

The director of the country’s traffic police, Tomáš Lerch, said the unusually hot weather was definitely one factor behind the increase, Czech Television reported.

A large number of motorcyclists and cyclists took to the roads in the summer and such road users accounted for over a third of all deaths in August.

Fatal auto accidents were caused in many cases by tiredness and a lack of attentiveness, the police said.

Brno local party adopts “mafia” image

A political grouping fielding candidates in forthcoming municipal elections in Brno is using mafia references in a bid to win support, Lidovky.cz reported. The leader of Maffie.cz, Lubor Pospíchal, appears on its candidates list as “capo di tutti capi” while other nominees have nicknames such as “the big fish” and “the gun”, the news site said.

On its website Maffie.cz writes that politicians are considered a mafia but no other party admits it. At the same time the group lists turning Brno into a “smart city” as its number one policy.

Kvitová exits US Open in third round

The Czech women’s tennis number one, Petra Kvitová, has been knocked out in the third round of the US Open in New York. The 28-year-old, who was ranked fifth at Flushing Meadows, lost 5-7 1-6 to 20-year-old Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

The result means that two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitová has failed to get to even the fourth round stage of any of this season’s four Grand Slam tournaments.

Slavia beat Plzeň 4:0 and move to top of table

Slavia Prague have replaced Viktoria Plzeň at the top of the Czech soccer league after a 4:0 victory over reigning champions in the capital. In a dramatic game the hosts opened the scoring after just three minutes through Souček and were awarded two penalties, converting one. The visitors had defender Hubník sent off five minutes before half-time.

Previously Plzeň had taken the maximum points in the opening six round of the league and Slavia are only in front of them on goal difference.

Weather forecast

It should be rainy in the Czech Republic on Monday, with temperatures of up to 23 degrees Celsius. Similar weather can be expected through the rest of the week.