- Associated Press - Monday, May 9, 2016

PARIS (AP) - The huge fan zone in the French capital during the European Championship will meet the “highest security standards,” Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said Monday.

In the wake of deadly attacks in Paris last November and Brussels this year, Europe is on high alert and authorities are concerned that Euro 2016, from June 10-July 10, could be targeted, especially the fan zones where spectators gather to watch games on large screens.

Hidalgo said security inside the 130,000-square meter area - the equivalent of 30 soccer fields - set up in Paris will be enforced at all times by 400 privately hired security agents. French police will be in charge of security outside the area.

“In collaboration with the interior ministry and the police prefecture, we took all necessary measures to guarantee the security of this area,” Hidalgo said at Paris town hall. “We have adopted extremely strict measures.”

According to Paris officials, the cost for policing the area has been estimated at 16 million euros ($18 million). The global security budget for the 10 fan zones across France has been doubled by organizers after the attacks to reach an estimated 24 million euros ($27 million).

The Paris fan zone will be located on the Champs de Mars, below the Eiffel Tower, with a capacity of 90,000 supporters. There will be metal detectors at entrances and pat downs. The site will be placed under video surveillance and explosive detection canine teams will be deployed.

Jean-Francois Martins, the deputy mayor for sports, said the security level in the fan zone will be the same as in the stadiums hosting matches, with two safety perimeters surrounding the area, which will be closed by barriers.

Martins added that a medical center will be set up on the site and that 100 medical workers will be ready to intervene.

France remains in a state of emergency that was declared after the deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls wants to extend it to cover the European Championship and the Tour de France but the move will require approval from parliament.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide