London Olympics: UK Govt should seek EU, NATO help

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London Olympics 2012
London, Mar 11: To ensure total security during the London Olympics in 2012, the British Government should approach the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for help.

The Chairman of the European Union Committee, Lord Jopling, expressed his surprise that the Government has not begun talks with the EU Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), a civil protection unit.

"It is increasingly clear that the 2012 Olympics could be a prime target for terrorists and it is vital the Government takes every possible step to ensure other EU member states are fully prepared to assist the UK in the case of a potential attack," the Daily Express quoted Jopling, as saying.

The MIC has long-standing experience of putting European teams on standby for large sporting events, he said.

"The lack of co-operation between the EU and NATO is especially worrying in the area of civil protection and crisis management, where there is virtually no contact between the bodies involved. This cannot be allowed to continue. We hope NATO's 60th anniversary summit next month will be an opportunity to remedy this," he said.

During the Euro 2004 football championships, Portugal had asked for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear decontamination teams to be kept on standby.

The teams were kept on alert in their own countries but were ready to travel quickly on the requirement.

UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has pledged to keep to a 600 million pound security budget for the 2012 Games, and said there are no plans to draw on a 238 million pound reserve.

The MIC committee noted that security for the Olympic Park in East London has generated a lot of public focus, but not much had been heard about the five host boroughs, which "seem to us to be at least as vulnerable".

The peers also expressed concerns over the need to reassure local communities that appropriate action would be taken. (ANI)

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