New Year’s Eve events in Brussels, Paris called off due to terror threats
Due to threats of terrorist attacks, authorities in Paris and Brussels have decided against holding their annual large-scale New Year's Eve celebrations as usual.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel announced Wednesday evening that the public celebrations in Brussels have been cancelled "given information we have received" on a possible terrorist attack. Yvan Mayeur, the city's mayor, said "Together with the interior minister, we've decided to not have the celebrations on Thursday evening," adding that 100,000 people turned out in the capital for the celebrations last year, and under the current situation "we can't check everyone."
In Paris, due to a constant stream of terror threats detected by French intelligence agencies, the city of Paris decided on Thursday to cancel its New Year's Eve fireworks display, and instead hold a video performance at the Arc de Triomphe, which will be shown on screens along the Champs Elysees. "We have decided to mark the New Year in an atmosphere of sobriety and togetherness," Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said.
The country's defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said thousands of soldiers will be providing security nationwide. "The same troops who used to be in Mali, Chad, French Guyana or the Central African Republic are now ensuring the protection of French people," he said.