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Euro 2016 security chief ‘cool and confident’ despite militant threat

first_imgThe job of keeping millions of soccer fans safe at one of the world’s biggest sporting events would be enough to keep most people awake at night. (Stretched and stressed, French police prepare for soccer spectacle)Throw in a French state of emergency due to the threat of a militant attack, as well as growing demonstrations against the government, and you would forgive the head of security for Euro 2016 for showing a few nerves just weeks before the tournament kicks off in Paris.”We’re not stressed. We’re confident, calm and cool. The objective is to organise things well,” Ziad Khoury told Reuters in an interview.Euro 2016 starts on June 10 and runs for a month at 10 stadiums across France. About 2.5 million spectators are expected for 51 soccer matches involving 24 teams. There will also be “fan zones” for crowds watching games on big screens in major cities.BIGGEST SECURITY EFFORT”This will be the biggest security effort for the public or private sector ever in France,” said 46 year-old Khoury.It all takes place under a state of emergency that gives extra powers to police and security forces in the aftermath of the November attacks by Islamist militants that killed 130 people in Paris and targeted multiple sites across the capital, including the national football stadium.”It’s a general threat, which is not specifically for the Euro, but for France, Europe and democratic societies,” he said.Violent clashes have also broken out on almost a weekly basis since March over government labour reform plans to make hiring and firing easier, stretching police forces to their limits.advertisement”Protests happen regularly in our country, but in general when a sporting event starts, it takes over the news,” said Khoury. “It’s very rare that in parallel there’s a lot of social demands because fewer people listen.”SECURITY TESTThe organisers are drafting in 10,000 to 15,000 security staff for over 110 sites, including stadiums, team hotels and other tournament sites. High-tech equipment will be used to monitor crowds.A first test of the standards needed for Euro 2016 will take place at the Stade de France on May 21 for the French Cup final.On average 900 specially trained stewards with about 80 health and safety personnel as well 200 volunteers will work in conjunction with the police force for each match, although numbers will vary on the profile of games and size of stadiums.”We’re in the final countdown,” said Khoury, who admits that it won’t be the tournament begins that they will know if the preparations have been enough. “When it comes to security, it’s not about numbers of people. It’s about the quality, coordination and extra tools at your disposal.”last_img read more

East Meadow NY –Lufthansa yesterday officially u

first_imgEast Meadow, NY –Lufthansa yesterday officially unveiled its new lounge at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The facility encompasses nearly 16,000 square feet, about twice the size of the airline’s original JFK lounge, and features three levels, each dedicated to one of Lufthansa’s premium passenger segments – Business Class, Senator and First Class/HON Circle. The $10 million upgrade is part of Lufthansa’s $200 million lounge renovation program.Previously, Lufthansa’s Senator and Business Class lounge was adjacent to its check-in counters before airport security. The new facility is located directly behind security in the airport’s Terminal 1, providing guests enhanced convenience and relaxation.“For business travelers and frequent flyers, comfort and convenience on the ground have become an essential part of a satisfying travel experience,” noted Jens Bischof, Vice President, the Americas at Lufthansa. “With its unique design and abundance of high-quality amenities, our new JFK lounge truly complements Lufthansa’s notable in-flight product and will become our flagship lounge in the U.S.”The First Class/HON Circle lounge area, located on the third level, is Lufthansa’s first such facility outside the airline’s three European hubs in Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich. First Class guests as well as HON Circle members – the highest status within Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program, Miles & More – are treated to exclusive service that begins upon entering a dedicated welcome reception area. Guests can choose to relax in the First Class area or enjoy a pre-flight dinner in the separate dining room, served at 12 linen covered tables for two. First Class guests also have access to premium-quality shower amenities.Menu options include a large buffet of international antipasti, fresh salads or finger sandwiches, as well as regional, Mediterranean and Asian a la carte dishes – all freshly produced. After dinner, guests can indulge in one of several delectable desserts, including Mousse au Chocolat and DEMEL’s Apple Strudel. The choice of drinks includes a broad selection of premium wines and a rich and international bar selection.The Senator Lounge, located on the second level, features parquet flooring, bistro and counter dining options, and a staffed bar area that offers an assortment of spirits as well as a variety of fine local and German wines and beers. Capacity has nearly doubled from the original Senator lounge and now offers seating for 124 guests. Premium shower amenities are also available in the Senator Lounge.The Business Class Lounge is located on the main level. The spacious area accommodates up to 171 passengers or about 75 percent more than the original lounge. In line with Lufthansa’s new global Business Lounge design, the lounge presents a modern feel with elements such as leather seats and Corian countertops. Amenities also include a separate, theater-style entertainment area with four LCD televisions and seating for 18 guests, a separate work table area with high-back leather seating that is integrated into the contours of the wall. Menu selections include finger sandwiches and a variety of salads and soups, such as creamy pumpkin soup.DO & CO, the Vienna-based premium restaurant and catering group, will provide the food and beverage service for the JFK lounge. DO & CO also provides food and beverage services for Lufthansa’s renowned First Class Terminal & Lounges in Frankfurt, and is an internationally-recognized name at various VIP sporting and corporate events around the world, such as the Formula 1 racing tour. DO & CO ’s famous Viennese bakery shop, DEMEL K.u.K. Hofzuckerbaecker, recently opened its doors on Manhattan’s upper west side.“Our flagship lounge at JFK airport is a key component of Lufthansa’s $200 million global lounge investment, which includes the building and refurbishment of Lufthansa lounges around the world,” said Oliver Wagner, Vice President, Global Airport Products & Services at Lufthansa. “During the first quarter of 2009, some seven lounges in locations like Mumbai and Paris are planned to open.”Other projects include the recent opening of Lufthansa’s Senator and Business lounge at Detroit’s new North Terminal, a new two-tiered lounge at Washington Dulles set toopen in February 2009, the first “Welcome Lounge” in Frankfurt for guests arriving on Lufthansa’s international flights, and a brand new First Class Lounge in Hall B atFrankfurt Airport — modeled after Lufthansa’s renowned First Class Terminal — also planned to open in February 2009.One of the world’s largest airlines, Lufthansa flies to 194 destinations in 79 countries, including 22 North American gateways. Lufthansa has hubs in Munich, Frankfurt, and, with its 2005 acquisition of SWISS into its portfolio, Zurich. Together with its partners, Lufthansa serves 416 destinations in approximately 100 countries. An industry innovator, Lufthansa has long been committed to environment protection and sustainability, operating the most technically-advanced and fuel-efficient fleet in the world. Lufthansa will be the largest European operator of the Airbus A380 and the launch customer for the new Boeing 747-8, the industries’ two most fuel-efficient passenger aircraft. For more information or reservations, visit www.lufthansa.comlast_img read more