The authorities in Athens are taking no chances with security for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006, with 3,000 police officers working round the clock to ensure a safe city and 500 private guards keeping an eye on the OAKA complex during the week of the event.
Additional forces will be used to protect theofficial hotel complexes which house the participants during their stay. There has been a heavy police presence atofficial events so far, and this will continue toensure that all activities remain trouble free for visitors.Traffic regulations have also been relaxed, with cars bearing official accreditation being allowed to use bus lanes.
Surge of visitors expected
Police sources estimate that in excess of 20,000 visitors will swell Athens' population for the week, some 16,000 more than orginally expected. With more of them arriving each day, the extra security is a necessity at an event which seems to become bigger every year. After the recent international experience of the Olympic Games, the authorities in Athens seem confident and well-equipped to provide a safe stay for all.