the GIGN will protect the Olympic flame in “a security bubble” – Libération

The symbolic object will be protected by 100 police officers and gendarmes, including the elite unit, during its journey through France before the opening of the Olympic Games, Gérald Darmanin announced this Monday, January 22.

From Marseille to Paris, around a hundred law enforcement officers will protect the bearers of the Olympic flame from May 8. This Monday, January 22, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, clarified the contours of the security system surrounding the torch route before the launch of the Olympic Games in Paris.

“A hundred police officers and gendarmes will accompany” the flame throughout this journey, including the GIGN, the elite unit of gendarmes, who will be “nearby” “at all times”, specified the Minister of Defense. ‘Interior during a press conference. Within this “bubble”, “18 police officers and gendarmes in plain clothes” will have the mission of ensuring “close protection” of the torchbearer.

A mobile force unit, around 100 agents placed at the front and rear of the convoy, will also be responsible for fighting “all forms of public disorder”, the minister said, citing possible “sit-ins”. “. According to the minister, the main risk of disruption comes from “ultra-left environmentalist” collectives, citing in passing “Rackage 2024”, “Last Renovation” and “The Uprisings of the Earth”. “At this stage, there are no intentions from the ultra-right,” he warned.

12,000 volunteers recruited

The Olympic torch relay will begin in Marseille on May 8 and end in Paris on the day of the opening ceremony of the Games, July 26. The relay must cross “100 emblematic sites”, “more than 400 cities” and 5 overseas territories. “65 stage towns will close the stage each day,” detailed the ministry in a press kit. The territories are supposed to pay 150,000 euros (excluding taxes) to see the flame pass. A security system with an already costed bill: securing the route will cost the Ministry of the Interior one million euros, continued Gérald Darmanin.

For the arrival of the flame in Marseille where 150,000 people are expected, 5,000 police officers and gendarmes will be mobilized. The torch relay will also pass through Paris on Sunday July 14 and Monday July 15. On the program, a short tour of the capital’s emblematic places such as the Pantheon, the Louvre Museum, the Champs-Elysées and the National Assembly on Saturday. Then, the flame will begin a tour in more popular neighborhoods on Sunday, with a relay passing through the Butte Montmartre or the Porte de la Chapelle, not far from the Adidas Arena built for the Games. For this Parisian trip, 1,600 law enforcement agents will be deployed.

The names of most of the 10,000 porters who will take part in the relay have been known since January 15. There we find personalities like the actor Jean-Pascal Zadi, the director Alice Diop or the footballer Jean-Pierre Papin, but also committed anonymous people. All these torchbearers will hold the Olympic torch for approximately four minutes over a distance of 200 meters along a route that crisscrosses France. Innovation for these Olympics: there will also be “collective relays”, led by sports federations. A group of 24 athletes around a flame bearer will provide entertainment.

Both the torchbearers and volunteers, 12,000 people were recruited by the Olympic committee. All were screened, including subject to an administrative investigation, said the Minister of the Interior. There were thirteen negative opinions issued: ten for facts of a judicial nature and three on the advice of the intelligence services.


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