For the Court of Auditors, France is not ready to ensure the security of the 2024 Olympics

Is France really ready to host the Olympic Games in two years? According to the Court of Auditors, this is far from being the case. The court is sounding the alarm on the preparation of the 2024 Olympics, judging “imperative” to step up the pace to meet the security challenge ” considerable “ represented by this event, in particular the opening ceremony on the Seine and the “torch relay”.

In a confidential 76-page report, revealed by Le Canard enchaîné and of which AFP has read, the Court insists on almost every page on the need to anticipate a general and massive mobilization of material and human resources to ensure security. . A final version of this report is expected by the end of the year.

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Two years before this event of global repercussions, and faced with the urgency of the situation, President Emmanuel Macron met Monday at the Elysée including Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin to take stock.

Hospital capacity, terrorist risks…

After the chaos of the Champions League final at the Stade de France on May 28, doubts have arisen over France’s ability to provide security for the Games (July 26-August 11, 2024).

In this respect, the reading of this preliminary report is alarmist insofar as it lists all the shortcomings to be taken into account at D-2 years: hospital capacity, public safety, health, terrorist risks, cyber risks, problem of acceptability games by the population, etc.

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Drawing lessons from the London Olympics in 2012, which had highlighted an underestimation of the costs and resources allocated to security, the document already recommends planning to compensate for a “probable deficiency” private security guards, of which 24,000 would be needed every day. It thus suggests being able to call on the army and the operational reserves of the police and the gendarmerie.

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“A more precise definition of security needs is becoming urgent”write the authors of the pre-report. “The global security plan (…) must be consolidated, updated and stabilised”they continue, adding: “it is imperative to arbitrate and enter the phase of operational planning and organization of resources”.

The Court obviously evokes the opening ceremony, unprecedented. Ardently desired by Emmanuel Macron and the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, it is designed as a great river parade on the Seine and accessible to the public. It was planned in the initial project an armada of 200 boats and 600,000 spectators.

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Unsurprisingly, she suggests reducing the fleet, carrying out simulations before the ceremony and adjusting the schedule of events on the day and the day after the opening ceremony to “relieve the pressure on the security forces”. The former prefect of police of Paris Didier Lallement had judged “unreasonable” this ceremony as it is envisaged.

“Comprehensive action plan” for cybersecurity

Another concern is the “torch relay”, from mid-April to July 26, 2024, a journey of 80 days for a journey of approximately 12,000 km. The Court notes that the route could be reduced, several departmental councils refusing to finance the passage of the flame with regard to the uncertainties on the economic repercussions which it could generate.

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To ensure safety, it recommends entrusting the responsibility to the gendarmerie, given its experience in securing the Tour de France, and to have “a flexible approach” thus with the classic distribution between police and gendarmerie zones.

The preliminary report pleads in addition for a “global action plan” in terms of cyber security, due to the “massively developing risks”. To prevent drone attacks, it is suggested that a “Low-altitude “3D bubble” to secure the airspace around sites and places of celebrations”.

The Court particularly addresses the subject of sailing events in Marseille and insists on the need for their organization to be accepted by the population. It considers in this respect that the beaches, in particular that of the Prado, must be fully accessible to the public during the duration of the Games, “an important condition for accepting the demonstration and a public order issue”.

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