Security measures at the weekend’s trade fair in Thessaloniki will be unprecedented with police presence being beefed up, especially on Saturday when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is scheduled to give his keynote economic speech.
US law enforcement agencies have been cooperating with Greek police closely due to the fact that the USA is this year’s honoured country at the TIF and the presence in Thessaloniki of the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Police have been meeting in the last few days in Athens and Thessaloniki to set out their action plan for the fair with details being finalised on Friday.
Another important factor for raising security levels is that large protests are expected against the government over the FYROM deal, while anarchist groups are also expected to take part in the protests.
FBI agents, snipers, helicopters, drones, 67 special riot police units (HMETs and YAT) and a total of 5,500 ordinary police officers will be deployed in Thessaloniki.
Meanwhile, Traffic Police have implemented strict measures with many roads closed and cordoned off to drivers, while in many spots stopping and parking will be prohibited.
According to sources within the anti-terrorism division and state authorities, the protests and the marches during the two-day period of the TIF are expected to be particularly dynamic this year and much larger in volume.
An indication of the extent of what authorities expect in terms of the size and force of protests is the fact that 67 squads of special riot police units will be operational on Saturday when the Prime Minister makes his keynote speech when the Thessaloniki Police Department has a total of 18 permanent units.