The Czech police is reinforcing security measures along the country’s border with Austria, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec told Czech Television on Sunday. The announcement came shortly after Germany announced it would renew border controls along its border with Austria, because it was no longer able to handle the influx of refugees. Mr. Chovanec said that further measures would be taken depending on how the situation develops.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka discussed the migrant crisis over the phone on Sunday with the EC President Jean-Claude Juncker stressing the need for a compromise solution which would not entail some EU members being outvoted on the matter of refugee quotas. The Czech head of cabinet said it was essential to increase security on the EU’s outer borders so as to stop the uncontrolled influx of migrants. Prime Minister Sobotka told Czech Television earlier that the Czech Republic cannot retreat from its stance rejecting mandatory migrant quotas although it was ready to help on a voluntary basis.
The leader of the Communist Party Vojtěch Filip has said that if the European Commission attempts to force the migrant quotas on member states then the Czech Republic should file a complaint against the EC at the European Court of Justice. Mr. Filip said that in his view such a complaint would be justified because a blanket introduction of quotas in countries that opposed the idea would amount to a loss of national sovereignty.
A US military convoy is crossing the Czech Republic on Sunday on its way to a military exercise in Hungary. The Dragoon convoy counting 150 vehicles and 550 personnel is travelling from the US base at Vilsek in Bavaria via Plzen, Prague, Brno and Výškov where the soldiers will spend the night at Czech military barracks. The military exercise Brave Warrior is aimed at demonstrating NATO’s collective defence capabilities and strengthening European stability. Most of the exercise will take place in the Várpalota region in western Hungary. The series of drill will involve 1,800 troops from Slovakia, Ukraine, Slovenia, Romania, Croatia and the US.
The 19th annual Forum 2000 conference entitled “Democracy and Education ” opens in Prague on Sunday. The conference, held September 13–16, will include lectures and round-table debates on a variety of topics including the migrant crisis and the threat of international terrorism. Among this year’s participants are the former South African president Frederik Willem de Klerk, the former Slovak prime minister Iveta Radičová and Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski. The tradition of these annual gatherings was established 19 years ago by the country’s first post-communist president Vaclav Havel.
Czech schools should in future have the right to conduct alcohol and drug tests on students whom they suspect of alcohol or drug abuse, the internet news site novinky.cz reports. The right to conduct such tests has been incorporated into the anti-smoking legislation prepared by the health ministry. Experts have welcomed the move since Czech children are at the top of the European ladder in alcohol and drug abuse with some indulging in alcohol from the age of twelve. The drug tests –aimed predominantly at marihuana –will be saliva-based. Presently teachers need written consent from parents to conduct such a test.
The Meteorological Office has issued a high wind warning for the eastern part of the country. The warning is valid from 9pm on Sunday until 6pm on Monday for the Olomouc, Moravia-Silesia and Zlin regions where winds can reach a force of 110km per hour. The authorities have warned hikers to postpone planned trips and for people to secure garden furniture and objects that could inflict injures.
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