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Lyon Christmas market; Paris soldiers

Christmas market in France cancelled because of security costs

A Christmas market in France had to be cancelled because it could not afford the security costs amid Europe’s ever-growing terror threat.

Published: December 4, 2017, 9:14 am

    It comes after police in Germany found a suspicious package near a similar Christmas market in Potsdam.

    The event in Lyon, would have cost €20 000 in security, so organisers were forced to call it off because it would have required an increase the number of booths or an increase the rental prices of the locations, which the participants could no longer afford.

    This the Place de la Croix-Rousse, in the 4th arrondissement of Lyon, will not host the popular market which had been a feature for 7 years. Every year in December, the Place de la Croix-Rousse in Lyon’s eponymous district hosted the event, a great hit with children.

    The association Lyon Croix-Rousse, which organises the event, advanced budget reasons. According to the project manager, quoted by Le Progrès, the association was not able to provide security fees, which have since increased dramatically.

    Despite long discussions with the town hall, no solution could be found. Nevertheless, some activities are planned, including carriage rides and the arrival of Father Christmas on Saturday, December 16th.

    A new version of the holiday event will be considered for next year, the event planners say.

    The terror threat has been preventing people from celebrating European Christmas traditions because leaders on the continent refuse to prioritise their own citizens’ security.

    It is estimated French hotels lost 270 million euros from cancelled bookings last year. The head of Accor, Europe’s largest hotel group, said the effect would probably last a while, but that was before more terror attacks hit the continent.

    Soldiers are currently patrolling the Champs-Elysees in Paris. France has deployed soldiers to its streets following the terrorist attacks and has faced similar challenges.

    The domestic deployments in Europe — to guard against terrorism — are among the largest since World War II.

    In France, the former leader of the military said that he quit in July in part to protest that his forces were “overheating.” Gen. Pierre de Villiers was the commander of France’s armed forces until he resigned following a dispute with French President Emmanuel Macron about military spending.

    The real reason soldiers are deployed on the streets, is to give citizens the feeling their leaders are fighting terrorism, observers say. The military deployment has been popular, sending the domestic approval ratings skyrocketing.

    “The number of missions that fall to our armies both in France and around the world has not been so high since the end of the Algerian War” in 1962, De Villiers stated in his memoir released last month.

    “The French Army is now in a real state of overheating, having to carry out so many missions with limited means,” de Villiers wrote.

    The consequences can be dangerous, retired French Gen. Vincent Desportes said.

    “The guys underneath the Eiffel Tower are trained for what they do, individually. But if we are faced with a big situation globally, then we will not be ready because we are not trained enough,” he said.

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