Paris Olympics opening could be moved – President Emmanuel Macron


French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that if the security threat becomes too significant, the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics might be relocated from the River Seine.

Macron suggested that the ceremony could be restricted to the Trocadéro area, situated across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower, instead of extending along the planned portion of the river.

Alternatively, he mentioned the possibility of holding the ceremony at the Stade de France, adopting a more traditional approach.

He expressed his commitment to ensuring an Olympic truce, referencing the longstanding tradition that mandates peace during the Olympic games.

In an interview with BFMTV and RMC at the Grand Palais, one of the Olympic venues, Mr Macron said: “We want to work towards an Olympic truce and I think it is an occasion for me to engage with a lot of our partners.”

The opening ceremony scheduled for July 26 is poised to be the first held outside a stadium. Over 10,000 athletes are anticipated to traverse a 6km section of the Seine aboard approximately 160 barges.

Originally, organizers intended to accommodate around 600,000 spectators along the riverbanks to witness the ceremony.

However, given the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, the French government is instituting alternative arrangements, and the number of spectators has been reduced to 300,000.

It has been disclosed that tourists will not be granted unrestricted access to view the ceremony. Instead, admission will be by invitation only, rather than through open registration.

“There are Plan Bs and Plan Cs”, President Macron said, adding, “We are preparing them in parallel, we will analyse this in real time.”

“We’re not being naïve at all. We are being very lucid about it. We are sharing all the [security] intelligence, we have considerable resources, and we know a lot,” he said.

Among possible threats, the French authorities have discussed attacks by drones.

Security concerns have been heightened following the threats by Islamic State to Champions League quarter-final football matches in Paris, Madrid and London.