Daily news summary
Funeral held for Czech soldier Martin Marcin
Sergeant Martin Marcin, one of the three soldiers killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan on August 5, was buried on Tuesday. A flyover of Czech Army planes took place ahead of the funeral service, which was held in Sergeant Marcin’s hometown of Chomutov. Army chief of staff Aleš Opata and Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar were among those in attendance, while around 300 people gathered outside.
The three Czech servicemen were killed by a suicide bomber while patrolling an area near Bagram Base, the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan. The other two soldiers, Kamil Beneš and Patrik Štěpánek, will be buried later this week.
Babiš to offer Italy unmanned aircraft to help fight illegal migration
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, says he will offer Italy and Malta unmanned aircraft to help guard their borders and combat illegal migration when he visits the two states in a fortnight’s time. Mr. Babiš made the comment on Tuesday after visiting a Czech company that develops such aircraft.
The Czech leader agreed a month ago to visit Rome after his Italian counterpart, Giuseppe Conte, sent an open letter in response to Mr. Babiš’s refusal of an Italian request to take in 450 migrants.
The latter says Europe must send a signal that illegal migration is unacceptable and taking in more people only makes the problem worse.
OKD commission asks police to intervene after Bakala no-show
A lower house commission investigating the controversial privatisation of the OKD mining company has asked the police to intervene after financier Zdeněk Bakala ignored a summons to give testimony on Tuesday. Mr. Bakala, who at one point owned OKD, is based in Switzerland.
Chairman Lukáš Černohorský said that the same laws applied to rich and poor and that the commission had no alternative but to ask the police to ensure that Mr. Bakala testify.
OKD was sold by the state to the company Karbon Invest for a price critics say was far below the market value. Mr. Bakala’s RPG Industries purchased Karbon Invest just a few months later. OKD is now in bankruptcy.
Economic growth decelerates in second quarter
Czech economic growth slowed to 2.3 percent in the second quarter of this year from 4.2 percent in the first quarter, according to an official preliminary gross domestic product estimate issued on Tuesday. Analysts had expected slightly faster expansion in the April to August period.
Czech GDP growth for the whole of 2018 should reach around 3 percent, according to experts. They say that the economy is currently performing at close to its maximum potential.
Three-quarters of toys examined fail to meet rules
Three-quarters of toys examined by the Czech Trade Inspection Authority in the first quarter of this year did not meet all the set regulations, the government agency said on Tuesday. The most common shortcomings were failure to identify the manufacturer or importer, while some packaging only contained information in English.
Inspectors imposed fines totalling CZK 1.8 million crowns on almost 300 toy sellers and distributors in the first three months of 2018.
Fire warnings called off after rains
Meteorologists have called off fire warnings imposed on most of the Czech Republic for a period of several weeks, Czech Television reported. The move followed heavy rainfall in recent days.
A fire alert is still in place in southern Moravia and forecasters say they fear the situation may again take a turn for the worse around the country in the coming days.
Wednesday should be mainly bright in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to 26 degrees Celsius expected. Daytime highs are expected to reach the high 20s or higher in the coming week.