French labor unions have expressed discontent over the 45,000 volunteer workers scheduled for the Paris Olympics, labeling it as "disguised employment. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

Regional Signal

France readies 50,000 agents to protect Olympics


French President Emanuel Macron appointed a small army of law enforcement agents to protect the Paris Summer Olympics.

At least 30,000 gendarmes and police officers will be present, backed by 27,000 private security agents, the President said.

Macron vowed the ensure the Games are “a success”, unveiling new security measures to tackle terror threats alongside bonuses for civil servants.

“We will set up a security perimeter around the ceremony, days and weeks before the opening ceremony,” he said on April 15, with the sporting extravaganza due to kick off in 100 days.

Detailing the security strategy, Macron introduced contingency measures, referred to as “plans B and C”, to address potential terrorist threats, including the option of relocating the opening ceremony.

“We could transfer the ceremony and festivities at the Stade de France,” he said, “or have a ceremony which would be limited to the Trocadéro” area in the capital.

Macron talked of traffic restrictions and enhanced “screening procedures for individuals entering and leaving the event venue”.

These follow recent announcements by French interior minister Gérald Darmanin of other security measures, including compulsory QR-code passes for travel in Paris during the Olympics and the establishment of security perimeters.

While the security protocols are mainly set up to counter terrorism, Macron confirmed that was not the only potential threat to the Olympics.

The CGT trade union has filed strike notices concerning three branches of the civil service from April 15 to September 15 that will cover the period of the Games.

Calling for an “Olympic truce”, Macron urged the CGT to “act responsibly”, emphasising the importance of “national unity” during such an historic event.

“It is in these moments that we build the history of France,” he said.

In a bid to curb union unrest, Macron confirmed his commitment to uphold labour laws, announcing bonuses for civil servants working during the Olympics, including police officers who will receive an additional €1,900 each.