Olympic security hits the headlines abroad
THE security shambles surrounding the London Olympics has made headlines around the world.
Foreign newspapers have issued dire warnings about everything from the British weather to public transport, but it is G4S’s spectacular failure to provide its promised staff levels that has generated the most column inches.
The New York Times reported: “Even government officials involved in the Olympics are calling it a fiasco, and their assessments have been backed up by whistle-blowers’ accounts that have sketched out the extent of the chaos that has thrown security plans into disarray only two weeks before the games begin.”
Germany’s Der Spiegel painted a bleak picture of the UK in the run up to the Games:
“London and the Olympic Games are clearly not made for each other,” it wrote.
“Visitors will need determination and, most of all, patience to reach the venues at all. And, for the locals, it all can’t end soon enough.”
It even suggested the London Underground was driving Londoners to drink.
“About half of London’s workforce commutes more than 45 minutes each way – if all goes well, that is. Is it any surprise that so many people there have a few drinks at a pub before heading home.”
At least The Age, in Australia, imagined a grimly determined host country, battling against the climatic conditions: “The best measure of how bleak the English weather has been is the formidably plucky response it has aroused from the natives.
“A spot of rain, occasionally interrupted by heavy showers, will not be allowed to disrupt the merry frolics of this landmark sporting summer.”
The Press Trust of India predicted that travel chaos would lead to a rush of angry tweets from athletes.
It wrote: “When an athlete is stuck in traffic for four hours and sees his bus going around in circles, there is little he can do but vent his frustration through twitter available on his smartphone.”
The Times-Picayune, in New Orleans, summed up London 2012’s current plight with the understated editorial headline: “No gold medal for security.”
It went on to say: “The summer Olympics are just two weeks away, but London, the host city, is dealing with security issues that should have been settled long ago.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West