Daily news summary
Spot checks introduced on Czech-German border over migrant fears
Concerns linked to migrants who fail to win asylum in Germany has led to the introduction of spot checks on the Czech-German border, the news website iDnes.cz reported. Speaking at the Svatý Kříž border crossing, the Czech minister of the interior, Milan Chovanec, said it was likely that asylum seekers rejected in Germany would head for another European Union member state and try again there. Similar spot checks have already been in place on the Czech Republic’s borders with Slovakia and Austria for some time.
Prime minister among thousands to attend NATO Days military show
Thousands of people turned out on Saturday for the first day of the weekend-long NATO Days and Czech Airforce Days military show at the Mošnov airfield near Ostrava. Among those who visited the event was the Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, who said he was there as it was the largest security show in Europe and security issues were at present highly topical. Mr. Sobotka said he was glad that the 2017 budget to be approved by the government next week included defence spending of CZK 52 billion, CZK 4 billion more than the figure for 2016. He said the world today was not a safe place and the Czech Republic needed to be aware of that and take appropriate measures. Over 250 pieces of military hardware, including various fighter planes, are on show at the free event.
Kašava in south-eastern Moravia named Village of Year
The title of Czech Village of the Year 2016 has gone to Kašava in the Zlín region of south-eastern Moravia. Second in the competition was Prysk in northern Bohemia, followed by Kozojídky, which is in southern Moravia. The Village of the Year competition is intended to encourage people not only to beautify their homes and surroundings but also to get involved in local traditions and the social life of their municipality.
Anti-Muslim group and supporters of refugees hold gatherings in central Prague
Anti-Muslim activists and supporters of refugees held gatherings on Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Saturday. The former held a rally at the top of the square while the latter assembled at Můstek at the lower end of the capital’s main thoroughfare. Tomáš Ortel, the leader of the controversial nationalist rock group Ortel, performed a brief set by the statue of St. Wencelas at an event attended by around 300 people entitled Czexit – The Struggle for the Culture and Security of Our Country. Just a few dozen people turned out for the second event; afterwards they set off for the top of Wenceslas Square carrying an anti-fascist flag and were separated from the other group by a police cordon.
“Vinobraní” wine harvest festivals being held around country
Traditional “vinobraní” wine harvest festivals are being held at a number of places in the Czech Republic this weekend. While some of the events – at which visitors can sample wines and burčák (young wine) – got underway in towns such as Znojmo and Litoměřice on Friday, others, including at Prague Castle, are starting on Saturday. Restrictions have been introduced at the Prague Castle “vinobraní”, with gardens adjacent to President Miloš Zeman’s Villa Lumbe residence and vine-growing gardens being closed to the public for the first time.
Czechs secure first gold on best day at Paralympics
The Czech team at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro have taken their first gold medal through swimmer Arnošt Petráček in his category in the 50 metre backstroke. Meanwhile Běla Třebínová finished second in a women’s 50 metre backstroke event on Friday to add to her previous bronze medal in a 50 metre freestyle event. Czech archer David Drahonínský also took silver, bringing the country’s medals tally to six.
Siniaková aiming for career first WTA title in Tokyo
The Czech tennis player Kateřina Siniaková has reached the final of the Japan Women’s Open in Tokyo. After a 6-3 6-0 victory over Shuai Chang of China on Saturday the 20-year-old is hoping to lift the first WTA title of her career. She will face Christina McHale of the US in the final. Siniaková, ranked 65th in the world, was beaten by Laura Siegemund of Germany in her only previous WTA final, in Sweden’s Bastad in July.