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Draconian security measures for 81st Thessaloniki Fair

5,000 police officers deployed

Thessaloniki will be in total lockdown as 5,000 police officers will be on duty for the opening of the city’s 81st annual International Fair by Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, Saturday. Six organised demonstrations are scheduled to take place by unions, social solidarity groups, Saturday afternoon. Greek police are setting up metal railings and barriers on the perimeter of the Velidios Centre to prevent protesters from approaching, while the 5,000 police officers and a line of riot police buses have been deployed on the perimeter of the building to prevent protesters from approaching the building. 2,000 more police officers have been deployed this year to the Thessaloniki International Fair compared to 2015, while tens of riot police units have received orders by the Central Police headquarters to deploy to the second largest city in Greece. Police helicopters will be flying overhead during the event, while the Thessaloniki Police Department has announced all traffic in the city’s centre will be blocked off from Saturday till Monday morning. The Greek PM has arrived in Thessaloniki, where he visited the work site of the city’s Metro, while he is later scheduled to meet with the central Macedonian prefect, Apostolos Tzitzikostas and the city’s Mayor John Boutaris.