Austria helps boost security at Davos meeting

Davos lies close to the border with neighbouring Austria Keystone

Austria’s armed forces will help the Swiss authorities to ensure security at this week’s meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

This content was published on January 25, 2005 - 20:00

Anti-globalisation protestors have called new demonstrations in several towns and cities on Thursday.

Austria has deployed 300 troops and four aircraft to patrol its airspace during the WEF meeting in the Swiss resort of Davos.

The mountain resort lies just 15 kilometres from the Austrian border.

The commander of Austria's air force, Erich Wolf, said cooperation between the two neighbouring countries was essential.

He added that the aircraft would only enter Swiss airspace in emergency situations.

Switzerland has sent up to 5,500 troops to help the civilian authorities maintain security in and around Davos, where government and business leaders are meeting until January 30.

More protests

Anti-globalisation demonstrators have announced plans for further protests in the capital, Bern.

Organisers said they handed in a request to the authorities to stage a peaceful protest march through the city centre on Thursday.

“We insist on our right to hold demonstrations,” a spokesman said ahead of a meeting with police officials on Wednesday.

He said he expected up to 3,000 people to take part in the demonstration.

According to the organisers, police have no reason to deny them the right to stage a protest after last Saturday’s demonstrations in Bern passed off without major clashes.

Police had deployed a large contingent to seal off streets and bridges and detained more than 80 people.

The city authorities and protest organisers had been at odds over a planned protest march through Bern.

Other anti-globalisation protests are scheduled in the city of Basel, as well as in Biel and in Davos.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

This year’s WEF meeting in Davos takes place from January 26 to 30.

Up to 5,500 Swiss troops from the army and air force have been deployed to help ensure security in and around Davos.

Austria has mobilised 300 troops and four aircraft for the surveillance of its airspace during the WEF meeting.

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