Members of the Paris police bomb squad intervene on the Champs Elysees avenue near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris as the bomb-disposal team gear up for heightened security operations for Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, France, December 4, 2023. REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq/File Photo -
PARIS: Paris 2024 organisers admitted that there were contingency plans for the Olympics opening ceremony on Thursday (Dec 21) after French President Emmanuel Macron revealed the event could be moved from the River Seine in case of a major security alert.
"Given we're professionals, there obviously is a Plan B, Plan C et cetera," Macron said on Wednesday when asked if heightened security across Europe over tensions in the Middle East could thwart plans to hold the ceremony as planned.
France raised its security threshold in October when a man with a knife killed a teacher in a school in northern France.
Earlier this month, however, the sports minister and Paris 2024 organisers ruled out a change of plans after a man armed with a knife and hammer killed a German tourist and left two people wounded near the Eiffel Tower.
"There is no single fallback plan, but rather a variety of adaptation measures - what we call in our jargon contingency plans - which are not intended to be public in any other way," Paris 2024 said in a statement to Reuters.
"We have contingency plans for all identified risk scenarios: heatwaves, cyber attacks, and the ceremony is no exception."
France expects up to 600,000 visitors when 160 boats are due to set off on Jul 26 from the Pont d'Austerlitz in central Paris for a 6km journey to the Pont d'Iena.
"The President referred to these adjustment variables by taking an extreme scenario: a series of attacks, for example, but above all he reaffirmed his confidence in the collective ability of those involved to organise the ceremony as announced, emphasising that the event would take place with the highest standards of security and support," the statement said//CNA-VOI