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Paris Olympics: Opening ceremony at 2024 games could be moved, says French president Macron

France has “fallback scenarios” to move the 2024 Olympic Games opening ceremony if the risk of a terrorist attack makes it necessary, the country’s president, Emmanuel Macron. has said.

More than 300,000 people are expected to watch the national teams at the Games being carried down the Seine on July 26, but France has been on maximum security alert since the attack on a Moscow concert hall in March.

“There are plans B and C and we are preparing them in parallel,” Macron told a TV interview on Monday, adding that any move would depend on “analysis of the context”.

A smaller spectacle could be held at Trocadero, near the Eiffel Tower, or at the 80,000-capacity Stade de France, Macron said.

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“We’ll be analysing the situation in real time and preparing a ceremony that would be limited to Trocadero, where we wouldn’t use the whole of the Seine, or even a ceremony that would bring the public to the Stade de France, which is what has been done traditionally,” he explained.

“What the terrorists want is to prevent us from dreaming, and that’s their greatest victory. There are always risks in life but we’re using all our means.

“We’ve planned ahead, we’ve set up a very wide [security] perimeter and we’re going to screen people going in and out and restrict traffic.

Olympic Games 2024 ceremony on alert

Olympic officials had previously dismissed suggestions that an alternative plan was being formed for the ceremony.

The head of state said 30,000 police and gendarmes would be on duty daily during the Games, backed up by 20,000 private security staff.

The Olympic torch will be at the centre of the event, arriving from Athens in Marseille on May 8 before being carried through France by 10,000 people, including notable athletes and public figures.

A rehearsal for the ceremony had been due to take place on April 8 but was postponed to May 27 because the Seine flooded.

More than 15 million tourists are expected to watch competitors from 206 countries at the Olympics and 184 nations at the Paralympics. The games end on August 11.

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