Spain helps its neighbour during Olympics

Spain helps its neighbour during Olympics

OLYMPIC SECURITY: Some of the Spanish officers who will be going to Paris Photo credit: interior.gob.es

Spain is sending 313 police officers to Paris to provide extra security during the Paris Olympics which start on July 26.

Interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska explained during a reception for some of those who will soon be setting out for Paris that the French embassy had passed on the request for reinforcements during the Games  earlier this year.

The contingent of 171 Policia Nacional officers and 142 Guardia Civil members will remain in Paris for the Paralympics which start on August 28 and continue until September 8. The officers include bomb disposal experts and canine units that specialise in sniffing out explosives

France, which in the past has been subjected to mortal attacks by Islamic extremists, raised its security alert to the highest level following the attack on the Moscow concert hall that killed at least 133 people in March. The Islamic State (IS) group later claimed responsibility for the carnage.

The authorities are particularly concerned about the Games’ four-hour opening ceremony which takes place in the heart of the city on the River Seine, with a waterborne procession of competing countries that involves 80 boats.

The six-kilometre route starts at Austerlitz bridge and finishes at Jena bridge near the Eiffel Tower.  For once, huge crowds watching from the embankments will be close to the opening ceremony, which is open to the general public.

Approximately 45,000 police officers and gendarmes will be deployed in the Paris region for the event with the addition of 18,000 troops mobilised during the Games themselves, 3,000 of whom will be responsible for aerial surveillance.

Between 18,000 and 22,000 private security guards will also be on the ground for the Games.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca province and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.

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