France restricts alcohol sales during Euro-2016

Extra security measures are being put in place to try and prevent a repeat of three days of clashes between English, Russian and French football fans in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille
Europe’s month-long festival of football has begun France. Meanwhile, the threat of terrorism as well as ongoing social unrest continues to cast a long shadow over the tournament. Not that there were any party poopers at a massive music concert near the Eiffel Tower last Thursday night where tens of thousand celebrated Euro 2016. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said it all passed off ‘beautifully’.

Fans gather at Eiffel Tower after the England v Russia match

With months of protest against labour reforms still causing strike disruption — notably on public transport — there were fears that fans would have problems getting to the opening match in the capital between the host nation and Romania.

Industrial action by public sector rubbish collection services has seen authorities send in private trucks to clear piles of rotting refuse from the streets of Paris. Strikers are being warned they won’t be allowed to spoil the spectacle. Police from participating countries, with experience of tackling hooliganism, are working together. However, they failed to prevent ugly scenes in Marseille last Thursday night as England supporters clashed with local youths. Two people were arrested and four police officers slightly injured in the skirmishes.

France’s Interior Minister — Bernard Cazeneuve — has also asked cities hosting the Euro 2016 tournament to ban the sale of alcohol. “Several (departmental or regional) prefects have already imposed restrictions on the sale, transport and consumption of alcohol. I asked them to take all useful measures aimed at prohibiting the sale, drinking and transport of alcoholic drinks within sensitive areas on the eve and days of matches, and on days when ‘fanzones’ are open.”

The Russian Football Federation has also had disciplinary proceedings launched against them after ugly scenes inside Marseille’s Stade Velodrome stadium following the Russia-England match.
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