Paris Olympics Opening Ceremony Could Be Moved Amid Security Concerns, Macron Says

After wining the 2024 olympic organisation, Paris put the Olympics Rings at the place of H
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In light of the increased threat posed by Islamic terrorism, the planned opening ceremony for the Paris Olympic Games this summer could be forced to relocate, French President Emmanuel Macron admitted on Monday.

President Macron claimed that plans to hold the Olympics opening ceremony expected to see hundreds of thousands of people gather along the banks of the Seine river which cuts through Paris are still expected to go ahead, however, he acknowledged that “there are plans B and even plans C” for alternative locations in light of the increased terror threat facing France.

“This opening ceremony… is a first in the world. We can do it and we will do it,” Macron said but hedged that the government will do “a real-time analysis” to decide if an alternative location will be necessary, reportedly including the Stade de France, the French sports newspaper L’Équipe reports.

The admission comes after France raised its terror threat warning system to its highest level last month in the wake of the suspected Islamist terror attack on a Moscow concert hall that left at least 143 people dead. President Macron said earlier this month that the ISIS splinter cell, the Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K), believed to be responsible for the Moscow attack, has made “several attempts” to wage terror attacks in France in recent months.

In addition to backup locations for the opening ceremony, France is also set to ramp up security measures, reportedly including the requirement of security screening QR Codes to enter certain areas of Paris during the games and attendance to the ceremony being limited by invitation to French citizens and tourists being barred from attending. Macron said that other measures will include “drone systems, coding, cyber protection” to safeguard the events.

French authorities have also been waging a campaign to clear migrant camps in the capital city, which have become a fixture on Parisian streets over the past decade of mass migration.

Macron said on Monday that he hopes there can be an “Olympic truce” — a tradition dating back to the original Olympics of ancient Greece — during the Summer Games in Paris, which are set to be held from July 26th to August 11th.

“We want to work towards the Olympic truce and I think that this is an opportunity on which I will try to involve many of our partners,” the French leader said, in reference to the conflict in the Middle East and the war in Ukraine.

The admission of potentially changing the location of the opening ceremony also comes as French Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin called for increased security outside of synagogues and Jewish schools across the nation in the lead-up to Passover and in light of the unprecedented Iranian missile and drone strikes on Israel over the weekend, Le Figaro reports.

The interior minister called for local authorities to provide a “static and visible” law enforcement presence in front of the “most sensitive or emblematic” places of worship of “specialised businesses” amid the “very high level of the terrorist threat,” the “high level of acts of an antisemitic nature,” and the “persistence of tensions at the international level including Iran’s attack on Israel”.

France, like many countries in Europe with large Muslim populations, has seen a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents following the October 7th Hamas terror attacks on Israel and the ensuing conflict in Gaza. According to the Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF), citing interior ministry figures, there were 1,676 antisemitic incidents in 2023 year compared to 436 in the year before, with nearly 60 per cent being either physical violence or threats.

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