France gave details of security at the opening ceremony amid terrorist threats

While security was “considerably” reinforced due to possible attacks in the Islamic State’s Champions League, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told how Paris is preparing for the parade on the Seine River. Closed airspace, small subway and a QR code.

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First photo Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior, spoke about the preparations for the opening ceremony of Paris 2024 on the Seine River. 
Credit. Le Parisien
First photo Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior, spoke about the preparations for the opening ceremony of Paris 2024 on the Seine River. Credit. Le Parisien

Gérald Darmanin, French Interior Minister, gave some details of what security measures will be like at the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, amid the threats that terrorist groups made to the quarter-final matches of the Champions League. Precisely, one will be the one that PSG and Barcelona will start this Wednesday.

In an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien, Darmanin reassured that “major events are probably among the safest places” and where “there will be fewer opportunities to act”, although he said: “Of course, we must remain humble in the face of danger”.

Although the Minister of the Interior acknowledged that “there are many possible scenarios depending on critical situations”, in relation to a plan B, the opening ceremony of July 26 is being held on the Seine River and announced that a week before that any type of traffic will be closed. In addition, residents and tourists to enter the “anti-terrorist perimeter” will have to present a QR code that from May 10 will be available on a website in order to ensure “that no dangerous person can access security perimeters”.

In this regard, Darmanin said in the interview that 195,000 administrative investigations were carried out and 285,000 private security agents were controlled: “We have excluded 161 people, almost all French: 105 for radical Islam, 35 for the extreme right, 18 for the extreme left and three for foreign interference.”

“No one will come, except for emergencies. Other emergencies will be accompanied by special police teams,” said Darmanin and explained that on July 26, nearly 15 metro stations will be closed as well as airspace, from 7 to midnight in Paris.

Security will also be reinforced in hotels and embassies, while local troops will have the help of some 2,500 foreign gendarmes. “Either they protect their teams, they lend us dogs to sniff out drugs, bombs or weapons, or they talk to their fellow citizens,” Darmanin explained.

The safety of the torch, another of the organization’s concerns

The Olympic flame will arrive in Marseille on May 8 and will begin an extensive tour of French territory until the pot is lit on July 26, which would not be in the stadium and could be installed in the emblematic Tuileries Garden, on the banks of the Seine and between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre Museum.

Darmanin said that they have “alternative routes” designed for each of the relays and explained that they are even planning a “second landing if people jump into the sea to stop the ship carrying the torch”.

The Champions League, under terrorist threats from the Islamic State

“This is not something new, but it is true that the Champions League is an important moment in football,” said Gérald Darmanin, announcing that France will “considerably” reinforce security measures.

This Wednesday, in the Parc des Princes, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) will host Barcelona in one of the four quarter-final games that have been threatened by terrorists through the release of a video. “The DGSI (French secret services) is ready, although I’m not going to give details about it,” Darmanin said.

Luis Enrique, the Spanish coach of PSG, was asked about the terrorist threat at the pre-match press conference and acknowledged: “Who is not affected by that threat? Of course it worries me. I hope it doesn’t end in something disastrous.”

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