6 May 2004
BARCELONA – A massive security operation to prevent terrorist attacks at Forum 2004 is to be mounted over the next three months, organisers said Thursday.
At least 2,500 police and security guards will be used to stop any repeat of the 11 March massacre in Madrid in which 192 people died and more than 1,500 were injured.
Security will reach its height when the festival is opened Saturday by King Juan Carlos Saturday.
Many members of the Royal family along with new prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the former Soviet president Michail Gorbachov, the Brazilian president Ignacio Lula da Silva and the president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, are to attend the ceremony.
The perimeter of the Forum site will be extended to try to stop potential terrorists getting close enough to launch attacks.
Security walls three metres high have also been erected near the site in the east of the city.
A coordinated security operation will be mounted between the Guardia Civil, the National Police, the Catalan authorities and local police.
Maritime patrols will also be mounted to stop potential attacks from the sea.
Forum organisers are hoping for up to 7.5 million visitors over the 141 days of the festival, which officially starts on 9 May.
Twelve emergency centres around the site have been prepared and facilities have been organised to respond to any crisis 24-hours-a-day.
But despite the elaborate security plans, the CCOO union criticised what it claimed was “lack of access” for firefighters to some parts of the Forum site.
Forum 2004 aims to mix discussions about Third World issues with a colourful artistic programme.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news