Euro organisers increase security budget after Paris attacks

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March 03, 2016
News media stand with French police at the site of a bomb threat in front of the Hotel Molitor where the German National football team were staying in Paris, France, on Novemebr 12, 2015. (AP Photo)

PARIS (AP):

Euro 2016 organisers have increased the security budget by 15 per cent in the wake of the Paris attacks.

The attacks that left 130 people dead in November have forced organisers to "strengthen" safety measures, with the security budget increased up to €34 million ($36.9 million), organising president Jacques Lambert said yesterday at a news conference marking 100 days to the European Championship.

France remains in a state of emergency which was recently extended to May 26, two weeks before the June 10-July 10 tournament.

About 10,000 people have been privately hired for security, among them 900 agents mobilised for each of the 51 matches. Organisers are in charge of security within stadiums, with French authorities dealing with it outside.

"Security is our essential preoccupation, but I don't lose sleep over; it, we are handling it with cold blood," said Lambert, who was in charge of security issues when France hosted the Winter Olympics in 1992.

Security at team hotels will also be heightened, while fans will endure two security checks when entering stadiums. The first perimeter will be set up away from the gates, where spectators will have their tickets checked and be submitted to body searches. Lambert said fans will be thoroughly checked once at the turnstiles.

Lambert added that Euro organisers will take over security issues at the 10 stadiums hosting matches by mid-May.

UEFA said on Tuesday that Euro games could be moved to different venues in France and rescheduled without fans on another day in response to terror attacks or threats. Lambert, however, said they were not thinking of matches behind closed doors at this stage.

Security will also be increased at fan zones. About seven million supporters visited the fan zones in the host cities during Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland, and there are concerns the designated Euro 2016 areas for the public could be targets for attackers.

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