PARIS, May 4 – The French interior minister on Tuesday warned of the Islamist terror threat to the Euro 2016 football tournament, to be played in France in June and July.
Bernard Cazeneuve was speaking a day before a cabinet meeting on plans to further extend France’s state of emergency, imposed after the Islamic State group attacks on Paris in November that killed 130 people.
The government last week announced it was doubling the security budget for fan zones — which are set to welcome up to eight million supporters in the 10 host cities across France — to 24 million euros ($28 million).
The country has been on high alert since the November attacks, which included three suicide bombers blowing themselves up outside the Stade de France during a friendly international between France and Germany.
“This great international-sized festive event represents a risk, it must be said, because of the ability groups still have to target our country and I want us to be able to use every means possible to overcome the threat,” Cazeneuve told a Senate committee.
“We must not think we are safe or that the imminent danger that justified the declaration of the state of emergency in November has disappeared.”
Last week Sports Minister Patrick Kanner said “everything will be done” to provide security at fan zones.
He said “exceptional measures” will be taken in terms of policing, while 10,000 members of the military will provide support to ensure security “never before seen for a sporting event in our country.”