Security Ramped Up At French Events

France’s interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, pledged to go ahead with as many summer events as possible.  

Photo: AP Photo/Ciaran Fahey
Police gather near the site of a truck attack that left at least 73 dead and 100 injured in Nice, France, July 15. Note the proximity to the Nice Jazz Festival, which is expected to run July 16-20 with acts like Robert Plant and Massive Attack.

However, he told reporters that “when the conditions are not met to ensure maximum security, of course local governments can make a decision to cancel some events.”

Several cities have already done in so the wake of the terrorist attack in Nice on Bastille Day, which left 84 people dead. La Baule and Avignon for example canceled their fireworks shows scheduled for August.

The same holds true for the city of Marseille, which additionally called off an air show for which it expected some 100,000 visitors. The capital of Paris is affected too. Among the events that were called off are a car-free day on one of the city’ landmarks, the Champs-Elysees, as well as a street basketball tournament, which was supposed to feature Kobe Bryant.

Outdoor film showings can only go ahead if moved indoors, and Paris Plages, which is currently taking place on an artificial beach along the river Seine, has been reinforced with concrete barriers to prevent another truck attack like the one in Nice.

Nice itself has called off its annual Prom’Party, which was supposed to take place on the French Riviera in the second half of August, as well as the Port Festival due Sept. 5.

The attack in Nice wasn’t the only tragic incident to hit France in July. On July 26 two terrorists killed a priest in Normandy. Interior minister Cazeneuve said that 12,500 reservists joined France’s police forces for extra security, and about 10,000 troops were patrolling in areas vulnerable to attacks.