Saturday 21 July 2018

French government wants to extend state of emergency during Euro 2016

Euro 2016 is taking place in France between June 10 and July 10
Euro 2016 is taking place in France between June 10 and July 10

France's government is calling for a two-month extension of the state of emergency declared after the November 13 attacks in Paris, to cover the European Championship football tournament and the Tour de France.

Prime minister Manuel Valls said an extension of the state of emergency until the end of July will "allow a better response against the terrorist threat" during the Euro 2016 tournament, which runs from June 10 to July 10.

The Tour de France ends on July 24.

The state of emergency - originally scheduled to end on May 26 - expands police powers to carry out arrests and searches and allows authorities to forbid the movement of people and vehicles at specific times and places.

The measure will require parliamentary approval.

After attacks in Brussels last month, concerns have been raised that Euro 2016 could be targeted, especially the fan zones where spectators gather to watch games on large screens.

Up to eight million fans are expected to visit the open-air areas, according to French authorities.

Tournament organisers have increased the budget for security by 15%.

"We must ensure full security" so Euro 2016 can "be at the same time a celebration with full stadiums and full fan zones", Mr Valls said.

He added that the state of emergency would also cover the Tour de France which starts on July 2.

Press Association

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