The Czech Army could send thousands of soldiers to refugee camps in states neighbouring Syria, the Czech minister of defence, Martin Stropnický, said on a Czech Television political discussion programme on Sunday. The troops, which could number up to 5,000, would be able to help with the registration of refugees and the supply of provisions in countries such as Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, said the minister, adding that such a deployment could not be to the detriment of security in the Czech Republic itself. Such a move should be coordinated by the European Union, Mr. Stropnický said. On Saturday the Czech Army chief of staff, Josef Bečvář, said it could deploy 900 soldiers within 48 hours if called on by the police to help deal with the refugee crisis.
The radical art group Ztohoven has protested against the Czech head of state, Miloš Zeman, by replacing his presidential flag on the roof of Prague Castle with a gigantic pair of red boxer shorts. The activists said that the standard of a man who was embarrassed by absolutely nothing was finally flying over his residence. In a statement issued on Saturday night with a video recording of their action Ztohoven listed 10 things Mr. Zeman should be ashamed of, including being drunk at the Czech crown jewels and relations with dubious dictators. Police have charged three people with theft and disorderly conduct in connection with the incident.
There has been a mixed reaction from politicians to the art group Ztohoven’s replacement of the presidential flag over Prague Castle with a pair of giant red boxer shorts in protest at President Miloš Zeman. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said he regarded Saturday’s move as a coarse practical joke and rejected the suggestion by the president’s spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, that it had been fascistic. Defence Minister Martin Stropnický said the incident was not threatening and that it was far better than if shots had been fired, adding that a review of security at Prague Castle had already been underway. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka jokingly asked on Twitter who was missing a pair of red boxers. Petr Fiala of the opposition Civic Democrats said the protest had been tasteless and that state symbols must be respected. Another opposition figure, TOP 09’s Miroslav Kalousek, asked why Czechs were paying for security at Prague Castle if such incidents were possible; the artists could have been terrorists with a bomb, he said.
Over 220,000 people attended the two-day NATO Days and Czech Army Air Force Days military show at the Mošnov airbase near Ostrava in North Moravia, a spokesperson for the organisers said. Over 155,000 turned out for the event on Saturday which is a one-day record. Visitors to the show, one of the biggest in the Central European region, could view such planes as a B-52 bomber and a multi-mission V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft from the United States and veteran Swedish models.
A procession of three dozen trams has passed through Prague as part of celebrations of the 140th anniversary of public transport in the city. The trams, including vintage models and the modern Škoda 15T ForCity, travelled from Smetanovo nábřeží to Holešovice. The oldest vehicle was a horse-drawn tram of the same type as the first ever deployed in the city in September 1875. A documentary on the history of Prague public transport will be screened on Palachovo náměstí at around 8 PM.
The beginning of autumn should be relatively warm and dry in the Czech Republic, according to a regular four-week forecast issued by the Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute on their website. They said daytime temperatures are likely to reach up to around 18 degrees Celsius until the middle of October before the arrival of markedly cooler weather. The remainder of September should see less rainfall than usual for the time of year but the start of October will see more than the long-term average.
The Czech men’s tennis team have retained their place in the elite World Group of the Davis Cup after beating India in a playoff in Delhi. Jiří Veselý’s 6-3 7-5 6-2 win over the hosts’ Yuki Bhambri on Sunday gave the Czechs an unassailable 3:1 lead on matches in the tie. Jaroslav Navrátil’s charges will learn who they face in the first round of next year’s Davis Cup after a draw this coming Wednesday.
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