Euro 2008 organisers tighten up on security

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The organizer have asked countries to try to impose travel bans on hooligans to stop troublemakers reaching the two European countries,

Austria, a member of the Schengen area where people travel without showing passports, will carry out only a limited monitoring of its borders during the event.

“We aim to survey the Schengen border temporarily at selected points but it makes no sense for us to survey the whole border or our other border crossings 24 hours a day,” Austrian Interior Minister Guenther Platter told Reuters.

“There is just not going to be complete control during the whole tournament,” he told a news conference.

Switzerland is not yet in the borderless Schengen area but is scheduled to join in October or November.

Some two million foreign fans are expected to descend on joint hosts Austria and Switzerland for Euro 2008, which will run from June 7 to 29. Uefa is expecting around six million fans in total.

Platter said officials had been focusing on measures that countries could take to prevent hooligans travelling, such as travel bans and research to pinpoint potential troublemakers.

“We are very interested in taking preventative measures,' he said, adding that Euro 2008 could learn from Germany’s example in preparing for the 2006 World Cup.”

As well as tightening border controls before the tournament, Germany arrested around 9,000 troublemakers out of some one million foreign visitors to the World Cup.

Germany, whose handling of the World Cup was widely deemed a success, will be providing 850 officers to help police Euro 2008, German Interior State Secretary Christoph Bergner said.

Border security would be strengthened, he said. “There will be temporary controls along the German side... But we have other ways to deal with potentially violent hooligans from Germany,” he said, adding that preventative measures were key to a peaceful tournament.

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