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Davos forum runs without security hitches

Malcolm Curtis · 25 Jan 2015, 22:31

Published: 25 Jan 2015 22:31 GMT+01:00

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Cantonal police chief Walter Schlegel told a press conference that officers did not make any arrests in connection with the event, frequently a lightning rod for activists seeking to gain a profile for protests.

“The officers were discreet but ready to intervene,” Schlegel said, according to a report from the ATS news agency.

“We were nervous at first because of the attacks against Charlie Hebdo in Paris and events in Belgium (where commandoes shot dead two jihadists and arrested 13 others),” the mayor of Davos Tarzisius Caviezel told media.

“I am really happened that everything ran smoothly.”

Swiss authorities took no chances with the forum, which attracted 2,500 prominent figures, including French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, other political leaders, top bankers, CEOs and Nobel laureates.

A total of 4,500 Swiss Army soldiers along with numerous police officers drawn from several cantons provided security for the four-day event in the mountain resort town.

A topless women member of the Femen protest group had to be dragged away by policemen in one of the few disturbances outside the gathering.

Meanwhile, on the margins of the forum action/2015 built 193 snowmen in Davos to represent countries across the world where the group is urging political leaders to take action combat poverty and tackle climate change.

Launched earlier this month, the group is backed by a group of public figures, from Hollywood stars such as Ben Affleck and Mia Farrow, to musicians such as Bono and Shakira, and business tycoons like Bill Gates and Richard Branson.

Branson was among those posing for a photo with the snowmen on Friday.  

Story continues below…

Graubünden authorities said the total bill for security at Davos came to an estimated eight million francs ($9 million), similar to the sum spent in past years.

The federal government covered 40 percent of the cost, with the canton of Graubünden and the Geneva-based WEF each paying around 25 percent, while the municipality of Davos picked up the remainder, ATS reported.

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Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

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