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15-09-2015

German inconsistency biggest problem in dealing with refugee crisis, says Chovanec

The Czech minister of the interior, Milan Chovanec, says Germany’s inconsistent policies are the biggest problem when it comes to dealing with migration. Germany said it would take in all Syrian refugees before partially closing its borders. In a tweet on Tuesday, Mr. Chovanec reacted to a comment from his German counterpart, Thomas de Maiziér, who said EU states that reject refugee quotas should receive less in structural funds. The Czech minister said showing one’s muscles to neighbours would not hide the fact Germany was most to blame for the current situation.

Czech police could reintroduce border controls or call on army if refugee numbers spike, says chief

The Czech police are ready for another wave of refugees and in the worst possible scenario would reintroduce border controls or call for help from the army, Police President Tomáš Tuhý said on Tuesday. Mr. Tuhý said the police had presented the government with a report outlining various possible security risks that an increase in refugee numbers could bring. The police chief said the measures already in place were sufficient for now and that the country’s borders were calm. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka also said on Tuesday the army could be deployed on the Czech Republic’s borders if the police proved insufficient.

Police report slight increase in number of illegal migrants detained

Forty-seven illegal migrants were detained on Czech territory in the course of the night, according to a statement released by the Czech foreign police. The migrants, who crossed the Czech-Austrian border of foot in several groups, were largely from Syria and Afghanistan. The Czech Republic tightened security at key crossings with Austria on Sunday night fearing that Germany’s decision to renew border controls would result in more migrants using the Czech Republic as a transit country to Germany. Although the number of migrants detained has slightly increased in the past 24 hours, those fears have not so far been justified.

Three Czechs die in avalanche in French Alps

Three Czechs were among seven people who died in an avalanche in the French Alps on Tuesday, the AFP news agency reported, quoting local sources. Four German tourists were also killed. The avalanche occurred on the 4,000-metre Dome de Neige des Ecrins in the Pelvoux region of the French Alps. AFP said most of the victims were in their 40s.

Slovak could get 10 years for possession of quarter million pills containing pseudoephedrine

A Slovak man arrested with 100 kilogrammes of medicines that can be used to produce methamphetamine has been remanded in custody in the Moravian city of Olomouc. The 48-year-old could face up to 10 years in jail if found guilty of the especially serious crime of unauthorised production and handling of narcotic and psychotropic substances and poisons. Police found a quarter of a million pills containing pseudoephedrine, valued at CZK 2 million, in his car when it crashed on Thursday.

New Metro stations to close for repairs next weekend

Two stations on Prague’s Metro system that opened at Easter are being closed next weekend for repairs. The Petřiny and Nemocnice Motol stations on the A or green line will be out of service from around 8 AM on Saturday until Sunday evening, the Prague transport authority said in a statement on its website. Replacement bus services will be laid on.

Public sector employees to get 3 percent pay rise from November

Public sector employees such as teachers, fire officers and clerks are to receive a 3 percent pay rise from November under an agreement reached on Tuesday by trade union leaders and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Finance Minister Andrej Babiš. The news was announced by Josef Středula, leader of the country’s confederation of trade unions. The unions had been pushing for a higher increase. Employees who come under the Civil Service Law will get a further 2 percent salary increase from January.

Czech state debt continues to decline

Czech state debt fell by CZK 650 million to CZK 1.663 trillion in the first half of this year, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday. That amounts to CZK 158,000 per citizen. Last year the national debt declined by around CZK 20 billion. It was the first time it had fallen since 1995.

US military convoy exits Czech territory

A US military convoy has left the territory of the Czech Republic after crossing the country on its way from Bavaria to Hungary, where it will take part in NATO exercises. Some 150 vehicles carrying 550 American soldiers left a barracks in Vyškov near Brno in six waves on Monday evening before crossing the border into Slovakia, a Czech Army spokesman said.

Legionella bacteria confirmed in Prague 9 tap water

Tests have confirmed an increased presence of legionella bacteria in tap water in the Prague 9 district, the ctk news agency reported. Their concentration is reported to be one hundred times higher than norms allow. Although hygiene officers say the health risks are not serious and the residents of Prague 9 have been advised not to drink tap water or use it for brushing their teeth until further notice. The pipes should be disinfected within a matter of days. No health problems have so far been reported.

15-09-2015