“A milestone. » This is what the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron wants this Monday, July 25 by gathering in the gardens of the Élysée the main actors of the Olympic Games (OG) in Paris 2024 for an Olympic and Paralympic Council. A meeting to address the two major challenges of this event: security and budget. And this, two years and one day before these games scheduled from July 26 to August 11, 2024.
A dozen ministers around the table
Around the table: Tony Estanguet, Chairman of the Olympic Games Organizing Committee (Cojo), Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, Ministers Bruno Le Maire (Economy), Gérald Darmanin (Interior) and Amélie Oudéa-Castéra (Sports), as well as some other ministers and organizational actors.
Following the chaos at the Champions League final at the Stade de France on May 28, doubts have been raised about France’s ability to ensure security at the Games and the Court of Auditors has recently issued an alarming preliminary report about this topic.
The organization of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, designed as a parade on the Seine river, is already a security puzzle. Many voices have been raised in the police ranks to worry about this. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin asked the new prefect of Paris, Laurent Nunez, to mobilize all the forces necessary to ensure the smooth running of the Games.
The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo (PS) and the president of the Region of Île-de-France Valérie Pécresse (LR) – in addition to the two ex-candidates in the presidential election – were not invited to this meeting. A choice blamed by two elected officials in a joint press release entitled “No communities, no games”, released on Friday July 22.
Another milestone is planned with elected officials “in September”, with the town hall of Paris, the Ile-de-France region, the elected officials of Seine-Saint-Denis or even the French Olympic Committee (CNOSF), determines the Élysée.
According to the Élysée, the “site meeting” Emmanuel Macron wants to be directed in particular to ensure that “personal involvement” of the ministers concerned as desired by the Head of State “unique”, thought “scale”, “audience” and on “the country’s image in the world”.
And the President of the Republic seems to want to take care of it personally because this meeting will now be “quarterly”. The next scheduled for the beginning of the school year, “in the presence of local executives” most affected (Paris City Hall, Île-de-France Region, Seine-Saint-Denis).
Delivery of sites
The Élysée remembers all that first “95% of websites” to host competitions “existing or temporary”. For others, “the construction process”especially the Olympic Village, is “full compliance” in predictions. 35 structures are being built.
Security: “committed totality”
The meeting clearly made it possible to explain the management: the Minister of the Interior endorsed “the sole and entire responsibility” in the police plan. The prefect of the police, that of its implementation.
Many issues. First, the mobilization of forces – between 7,000 and 11,000 agents per day (each day, its specific needs and especially the opening ceremony whose needs will depend on the artistic project that has not yet been completed), while maintaining the forces available for other events and interventions elsewhere. in France. The Ministry of the Interior announced the creation of “11 new mobile units” and the activation of several levers to cope (using overtime, postponing other events, etc.).
The State also intends to mobilize the private security sector. In this regard, he estimated the need of 17,500 agents per day. The State will specifically assist the self-building sector through training in particular.
The army will provide assistance through the French Navy and Air Force for the anti-drone fight. Similarly, the Sentinel operation will intensify once the needs are refined. And cybersecurity prevention teams will be strengthened.
The Ministry of the Interior also tested technological innovations (173), “a certain number of them will be mobilized”.
Movement and transportation
The Games require the transportation of 800,000 people every day. For viewers, a first version of the transportation plan will be revealed in the next few weeks (stations and stations used to serve each area, routes and speeds of the different shuttles). This will be based on the extension of metro line 14 (which remains to be delivered).
A dedicated cycling plan has been drawn up.
For the accessibility of people with reduced mobility, the State relies on buses, line 14 and announces 1,000 taxis available.
“Game budget to save”
The envelope of public money (which includes state and local government aid) injected into the 2024 Olympics “1.7 and 1.8 billion euros”, replied the Élysée, promising that “Games budget to be kept”.
In this general budget, inflation increases the bill by 140 million for the State and communities. In order to absorb these additional costs and those that will come, the Elysée has evacuated the hypothesis “unfounded and far-fetched” of an “Olympic tax”. The State and the organizers do not intend to play with the entry prices to bail out the receipts, in any case. “Not at this stage”.
In order to hold the purse strings, the State instead seeks to play the choice of ceremonies, for example. “The Head of State wants us to be the best in a context of restricted spending”, summarizes a good file connoisseur. Other options: increase collaboration with brands in exchange for visibility for them, ask the International Olympic Committee to take into account the inflation of its subsidy (1.2 billion today) and possibly dip into the “contingency reserve” (315 million euros), which has not been activated since. 2016).
To manage the approximately 1,500 diplomatic credentials, a protocol coordination center will open in Seine-Saint-Denis in the spring of 2024 and the Games will have an “Olympic Consulate” to handle visa applications for nearly 50,000 people.
Games for everyone
This is the promise of the State announcing new measures and programs to mobilize the country. In particular the principle of a “popular ticket office”, seats bought in large numbers in the State to reach 50% of tickets for less than €50, 1 million tickets for less than €24.
The State will also participate in the torch relay, two months before the Games from Olympia (Greece). “The opportunity to improve all our territories. »
The practice of sport: big factor 2024
This should translate into funding to support sports practice. Candidate Emmanuel Macron’s promise of 30 minutes of sport at school will be deployed. A “Paralympic day” has been announced for October 8. And companies will be encouraged to promote sports practice in the workplace. The State announced the organization of a public service event at the beginning of the next school year.
Finally, a mission will be launched to adapt sports practice to climate change. The first conclusions can be drawn “from the end of 2022” for athletes’ prescriptions during events, especially the Paris Olympics that will take place in the heart of summer 2024.