Journey of the Olympic flame: threats of attack, militant actions… How the Ministry of the Interior is preparing


Does the Olympic flame represent a danger for France? Even before the Olympic Games and its opening ceremony on July 26, this is the question that the police are asking themselves. With the “Emergency Attack” system triggered since the Moscow attacks and the bustling international news, particularly that of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the executive is more attentive than ever to the security risk surrounding the Games on French territory.

“There will be incidents”

Questioned this Saturday morning on Europe 1, Camille Chaize, spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior, nevertheless wants to be reassuring. “We know that there is a desire to create incidents and probably that there will be incidents. They could be benign things: banners, leaflets, raising flags, that kind of thing, we seen in the past during the torch relays, given the number of days, it is even certain that there will be this type of action. What we are trying to avoid above all. whether we come to put out the flame or harm the person holding the flame in their hands, that’s always the ultimate risk,” she explains.

A situation which already occurred on April 7, 2008, when the Olympic flame passed through Paris for the Beijing Games. The French torchbearers had been heckled by opponents of the Chinese regime, who called for a boycott of the Games. The flame had unfortunately been extinguished, leaving an unpleasant precedent for France. The country is known for its activism, concedes Camille Chaize, and the desire to demonstrate, with societal demands, is still very strong there.

Search for security guards

“We expect this type of incident and we will deal with them one by one, under the authority of the prefects of the departments who have the authority to maintain public order. Each time, decisions will be taken. It will perhaps be be to work with the organizers of the events on the right location so as not to hinder the route and the convoy of the flame. It will perhaps be other types of decisions, but what is certain is that. each event, each incident, we will adapt,” insists the spokesperson.

And to guarantee security throughout the route, as well as throughout the Paris Olympic Games, an important system is obviously planned, with police officers, gendarmes but also private security agents. There would also be a shortage of “a few thousand” three months before the Games. “Candidates can make themselves known on the France Travail network, there are still some opportunities,” concludes Camille Chaize, who hopes for new applications to increase the workforce.

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