Czech police join extremist National Guard
The paramilitary National Guard (NG), established by the extreme rightist National Party last year, has attracted some 2000 people, including many former career soldiers and police, the Czech daily Pravo writes today, referring to NG Commander Michal Kubik.
The first members are to serve as commanders. The training is to start later this year, Pravo says.
The NG is planning the public oath-taking ceremony for this October, on the 90th anniversary of Czechoslovakia's establishment, it ads.
Kubik told Pravo that out of the 2000 candidates for the NG membership, only a faction would undergo an entry interview.
Pravo says the data given by the NG cannot be checked.
The first 90-day preliminary training started in January. This year, there will be four of them, Pravo writes.
"As it is mostly attended by former career soldiers, senior officers from international missions, professional rescuers and senior police officers, this part will be rather easy," Kubik said.
Interior and Defence Ministry representatives have no information that former career soldiers and police officers are joining the NG, Pravo writes, adding that they do not consider Kubik's claim trustworthy.
The NG leadership said in January it would legally exist as a civic association within a year.
Its activists say the NG will focus on "help and service to the nation."
"It is a paramilitary organised group that will be used not only for our meetings, but also if there is a need during a disaster," National Party chairwoman Petra Edelmannova said last year, adding that NG members may help during future floods.
The NS is a nationalist party registered since autumn 2002. At first, the Interior Ministry refused to register it, but the party turned to the Supreme Court that cancelled the decision.
The NS is against the EU and foreign immigrants, criticises wasteful provision of welfare benefits and demands the ban on all drugs and restoration of capital punishment.
In the 2006 general elections, the NS obtained 0.17 percent of votes.
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