The Olympic torch relay is an honoured tradition preceding the start of every Olympiad, Source: Depositphotos

French mayor won't allow Olympic torch to pass through his town due to costs

French mayor won't allow Olympic torch to pass through his town due to costs

The mayor of Evreux said he also didn’t have enough time to acquaint himself with the security protocol for the event

The Olympic torch relay is an honoured tradition that precedes the start of every edition of the Olympic Games. Passing of the torch, with the flame lit at the ruins of the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece, and participating as one of the runners holding it on its route to the final destination is considered a particular honour. And so is being one of the towns on that route.

Well, it appears that at least one town in France is poised to bow out of this honourable tradition because its mayor said that participating in the route would end up costing the municipality too much. Guy Lefrand, mayor of Evreux in the Normandy region, stated at the end of last week that organizing the event required the fulfilment of “a certain number of obligations”.

And said obligations would all add up to more than 100,000 euros for the local budget.

Not to mention the mobilization of our territorial agents, the constraints weighing on local residents and traders, the neutralization of road axes [...] during the period of the torch relay,“ added the mayor in a statement.

What’s involved in organizing a torch relay?

Next year’s Olympic torch relay is scheduled to begin in April and visit all French regions and various towns and cities within each region so that a maximum amount of people will be able to see it.

In the case of Evreux, the relay is scheduled to pass on 6 July on its way to Paris. Mr Lefrand, however, said that he only learned about the specifications of organizing a torch relay event two months ago.

In his words, the town council would have to secure a route stretch of 4.5 kilometres by hiring private security agencies and renting security barriers.

Nevertheless, Mr Lefrand also said in his statement that he was ready to exchange ideas with other host towns in order to make the passage of the Olympic flame possible, but if it’s at a “reasonable cost”.



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