Police are reported to have detained 235 illegal migrants over the weekend, a record number in so short a time. According to Kateřina Rendlová, a spokeswoman for the foreign police, police are now detaining much larger groups of migrants than in previous weeks and months and the number of women and children in the groups has also steeply increased, indicating that the country is now experiencing a second wave of migrants in which whole families are joining the men who preceded them to the chosen destination in Europe. The majority of those detained in the Czech Republic are bound for Germany. In the past few days the police have charged five people with people smuggling for which they could face between two and twelve years in prison.
Europe must take coordinated measures to address the migrant crisis, the Czech and French foreign ministers, Lubomír Zaorálek and Laurent Fabius, told reporters following their meeting in Prague on Monday. The foreign ministers discussed the current situation in Macedonia, where police ended their blockade of the border with Greece to prevent an uncontrolled flood of migrants entering the country, overcrowded asylum facilities, the problems of EU buffer states and the need to take tough measures against people smugglers. Foreign Minister Fabius said that it was crucial to distinguish refugees whose life was at risk and economic migrants. The Czech foreign minister stressed the need for joint action in order for Europe to be able to preserve the Schengen border-free zone. The two officials also discussed the situation in Ukraine and cooperation within the Višegrad Four group.
Milk yield has increased despite a fall in the number of dairy cows this year and the Czech Republic continues to produce nearly a third more milk than it consumes, the news site iDnes.cz reported. According to figures from the Czech Statistics Office in the first half of 2014 there were 372,900 dairy cows in the country; this year that figure fell to 368,600. IDnes.cz said the reasons for the decline included a Russian embargo on EU-produced foodstuffs and the end of milk quotas; Czech breeders are facing increased competition from abroad and many have started cutting their herds.
If a new tender process to extend the Czech Temelín nuclear power plant is launched, a French company will take part, the country’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, told journalists in Prague on Sunday evening ahead of talks with his Czech counterpart, Lubomir Zaorálek. In April the energy company CEZ cancelled after five years a tender process to complete two blocks at Temelín. France’s Areva had entered the initial competition but was disqualified for not fulfilling all the criteria, an assertion the firm contested.
The spokesman for President Miloš Zeman has hit out a study by two think tanks, the Czech European Values and Slovakia’s Central European Policy Institute, suggesting the head of state, the Communist Party and some Social Democrats were the “most frequent bearers” of Russian propaganda in the Czech Republic, the news website Lidovky.cz reported. Mr. Zeman’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said on his Facebook page that it was sad that at a time when Czech were remembering the 1968 invasion and the propaganda-filled normalization period that followed there were today propaganda and pressure groups using similar methods.
The Czech Republic’s ambassadors and consuls from around the world are gathering in Prague this coming week for discussions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on foreign policy, security, the European Union and economic issues. The diplomats will also learn more about a freshly produced national foreign policy document. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek will address them on Monday. France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, will be a guest during the first days of the annual conference.
A row over state support has broken out between the Czech Republic’s Association of Farmers’ Markets and the Ministry of Agriculture. The association, which brings together markets in Prague and elsewhere in the country, says a former deputy minister, Radek Braum, promised to provide it with support amounting to thousands of crowns a year in 2012. However, the ministry told the Czech News Agency no such pledge had been made. It also said that it had supported individual events put on by members of the Association of Farmers’ Markets.
The Czech Republic’s Martin Fuksa has won gold at the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Italy’s Milan. A day after picking up silver in the 1,000 metres, Fuksa topped the podium in the 500 metres on Sunday. The 22-year-old said some people looked down on the race as it does not feature at the Olympic Games but that he did not regard it as any less of an achievement.
The Czech Republic’s Pavel Maslák has failed to make it out of the heats in the 400 metres at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing. Maslák, who came fifth at the last World Championships in Moscow two years ago, finished last in his qualification race. The entire field has been faster this time out: His time in Moscow – a Czech record 44:54 seconds – would have left him just 18th in Beijing.
Police in South Africa have launched a fresh investigation into the Czech fugitive Radovan Krejčíř in connection with 20 cases of murders as well as drug dealing, burglary and money laundering. Officers plan to interview Miloslav Potiška, a former close associate of Mr. Krejčíř’s who is now back in the Czech Republic. A lawyer for Mr. Krejčíř said his client was not afraid of Mr. Potiška turning crown witness against him as he was “a liar” who had fled to evade justice for his own crimes in South Africa. Mr. Krejčíř was sentenced in absentia to 10 and a half years in jail in the Czech Republic for massive tax fraud and is now in custody in Johannesburg ahead of a trial for torturing the brother of a drug dealer.