Official speeches and statements - June 8, 2016
Q. - Did you talk about Euro 2016 and security?
THE MINISTER - Yes we talked about it, of course. Britain is probably going to be the country sending the most visitors. As I was saying to Philip Hammond, you could have had four teams; you’ve only got three, but even so this is a lot compared to others, and you mustn’t complain! It’s positive. There’s a desire to come to France, and I provided reassurance by recalling all the measures which have been taken. I also welcomed the excellent cooperation between our intelligence services, and between the French and British police too - with, in particular, the presence of personnel from the two countries around the stadiums. There are both terrorist risks and also risks linked to hooligans etc. Moreover, they [the British authorities] have already taken precautions and banned a number of people (...) from leaving the country. They too are shouldering their responsibilities; I thanked Philip Hammond for all that. This happened with complete equanimity; we analysed what they had put on their travel advice page.
Q. - And today’s warning, which is a bit dramatic, from the British authorities about risks - is it a bit dramatic?
THE MINISTER - As Philip Hammond says, his ministry wrote this warning because we know there will be a lot of people, which requires vigilance and being on guard. But we aren’t going to stop the 500,000 people wishing to go from going. They even want this to be a great celebration, obviously, too. I told him that, on the contrary, the fan zones were precisely to allow greater control, rather than have people spontaneously congregating in the street to watch matches. No one is shielded from a risk; he himself told me that we’re threatened. So we’re aware of all that, but we aren’t going to stop living our lives. (...)
You asked me about the security measures taken as part of Euro 2016 to ensure the event goes ahead smoothly. You pointed more specifically to the measures taken on border controls. Under Article 23 of the Schengen Borders Code, the decision was taken to restore these controls for security reasons not linked to the state of emergency. Such border controls can be continued after the state of emergency, to ensure our country’s security in the context of terrorist threats.
Significant resources are being mobilized by our country to guarantee these border controls. Nearly 5,400 air and border police are mobilized especially to fulfil this task, alongside customs officers, who are doing an absolutely outstanding job, liaising excellently with national police.
I’d like to give you a few figures that testify to the effectiveness of these border controls. Since November, 35 million people have been checked; nearly 35,000 have been arrested; and 20,000 have been prevented from entering the country, which shows the effectiveness of the controls and what they’re actually achieving.
We’ve also taken measures with police forces in other European Union countries to prevent high-risk people from entering the country - I’m thinking in particular of hooligans. Nearly 2,350 people, whose names we have, will be very specially monitored, and 24 people have been banned from entering the country.
However, these measures mustn’t curtail movement in border areas. That’s why I’ve given the air and border police instructions to work with their counterparts, in both your region and the others, to ensure compatibility between the controls’ effectiveness and free movement in border areas.