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Police say security assured at Euro 2008

Published on 29/05/2008

29 May 2008

BERNE – Security services were put to the test ahead of Euro 2008 in the Swiss capital Berne on Wednesday and claimed operation Steilpass 08 was a great success.

The exercise involved 500 police, firemen, doctors and members of the public, and organisers said they felt convinced they could guarantee security in the canton during the tournament.

The scenario was a major thunder storm with huge hail stones battering supporters packed in to the Stade de Suisse to see Italy take on Holland. Real ice was used in the mock-up emergency to make the scene as realistic as possible.

School pupils and police played the part of the injured and those trying to locate people missing in the confusion.

"We have seriously prepared for this and feel, along with our partners, that we can tackle any situation swiftly and professionally," said the head of Berne police Stefan Blaettler afterwards.

Everything had been done to ensure security, said Stefan Huegli, the director for security, environment and energy in the canton.

"The main challenges to safety though will be the very large crowds and the very large consumption of alcohol that is expected," he added.

The Stade de Suisse, the second biggest stadium in Switzerland with a capacity of 32,000, is the venue for the group C games: Holland v Italy (9 June), Holland v France (13 June) and Holland v Romania (17 June).

There would be around three times more security for the Euro 2008 matches than at a Champion’s League medium risk game, said Viktor Baumann of the Stade de Suisse management team.

[dpa / Expatica]