Expatica news

Security stepped up at Cebit

17 March 2004

HANOVER – Police stepped up security Wednesday as exhibitors put the finishing touch to stands at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover, Germany – the world’s biggest joint display of computers and telecommunication equipment.

An official opening ceremony with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was set for Wednesday evening, with CeBIT open to the public from Thursday morning. It runs till 24 March and is expected to attract more than 500,000 visitors.

The 11 March terrorist bombings in Madrid have put other European countries on edge. A Hanover police spokesman said more police than planned would be deployed at the fairgrounds, although there was no evidence it was at risk.

“But we won’t be out there toting submachine guns,” he said. German police carry pistols, but rarely use them. The Heckler & Koch MP3 submachine guns which are standard issue for German police forces are only taken out of the armoury when guarding high-risk sites.

The spokesman said plainclothes police would also be strolling around the fair in addition to uniformed personnel.

This year’s Cebit will have 6,400 exhibitors from more than 60 nations showing the latest in computers, software and mobile phones. The tally of exhibitors is 200 lower than a year ago, reflecting the continuing shakeout in the industry since the dot-com crash.



Subject: German News