French Interior Ministry deploys 147.000 security forces for New Year's Eve

Riot police near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Riot police near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

  |  EPA

The French Interior Ministry has deployed 147.000 security forces to enforce order during New Year's Eve celebrations, due to "protest movements in public spaces" and to the "terrorist threat."

"In fact, the 2019 New Year's Eve will take place in the context of a high-level terrorist threat and of protest movements in public places," the Interior Ministry wrote on Twitter, according to Spanish news agency Efe.

After another round of 'yellow vests' protests last Saturday, which according to the government involved 12,000 protesters (compared to 38,600 protesters last week and 66,000 in the week before that), the movement is now using social media to organize a new round of protests on New Year's Eve.

In addition to blockades on roundabouts and roads, the movement is also preparing a rally in the Champs Elysees - an idea that the government seems willing to block from the very start.

Complying with internal security and counter-terrorism guidelines, local authorities have established two security perimeters to control the country's busiest celebration sites. Such is the case of the Champs Elysees, according to the Interior Ministry.

Less than a month after the attack on the Strasbourg Christmas market, authorities will apply the 'Vigipirate' anti-terrorist surveillance plan across the country, focusing on large shopping venues, meeting places, and public transport infrastructure.

As for roads, the minister said that operations will be carried out to deter citizens from driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and to prevent dangerous behavior.