Salzburg governor promises zero tolerance against misbehaving fans
The governor of the State of Salzburg said Friday that any criminal acts carried out in or around the Euro 2008 tournament will be harshly dealt with, reported dpa.
"There will be no tolerance," said Gabi Burgstaller. "We will make it very difficult for anyone who wants to use Euro for theft, violence or any criminal acts."
Burgstaller was speaking at a press conference in Salzburg welcoming Swedish and Greek police to the city.
Greece and Russia have set up their team headquarters in the state but while the Greeks and Swedes meet on Tuesday in the state capital, Russian police will arrive later as Guus Hiddink's side play Spain in Innsbruck in their first match.
Salzburg's security director Dr Franz Ruf said that with the teams now set up in their quarters, the security presence had been increased.
"The cooperation with the teams has functioned very well and there have been no incidents to date," he said.
Ruf said that the strict border controls, which will be in place until the end of Euro on June 29, were introduced Thursday with three people refused entry to the country for reasons not related to the tournament.
Three Serbs were also arrested after falling foul of the security blanket that has been thrown around Salzburg ahead of Tuesday's match.
"The three Serbs had visited boutiques in Salzburg city centre where with the help of special tools to remove security tags, they stole 18,000 euros worth of designer clothing," said Ruf.
The five Swedish and five Greek police officers will begin work in the city immediately, where they will wear their national uniforms and communicate in their own language with visiting fans to help defuse any potential trouble.
"The officers have no powers of arrest but will walk the beat around the so-called hotspots in Salzburg such as the main train station, the airport and fan zones," said Ruf.
Over 250 German police arrived Thursday and while these officers will have the power of arrest they will be under Austrian command.
Another 650 soldiers from the Austrian army have also been stationed around Salzburg, with 500 working on the ground and 150 observing the area from the air.
"They are well equipped," said Brigadier Karl Berktold, military commander for Salzburg.
"We are also in the position to be able to provide a rapid reaction to any situation as we have a barracks for 500 soldiers near the stadium."
Burgstaller said that her state was working hard to ensure Euro passes off peacefully and will be remembered for football and fans having fun.
"We have enough police here," she said. "They may not all be visible but everyone should be aware that we will come down hard if necessary."