5,000 soldiers to guard WEF

Soldiers erect a security fence in Davos (Keystone/Arno Balzarini) Keystone

A record number of Swiss soldiers will be on duty at the World Economic Forum annual meeting.

This content was published on January 24, 2012

The army will be supporting the civil authorities both on the ground and in the air during the meeting of world business and political leaders, which is due to start in the resort of Davos on Wednesday.

The snow is already posing a challenge. “We have never had so much snow, we’ve had some problems,” said major general Marco Cantieni at a media conference ahead of the event.

A lot of snow has had to be shoveled away in order to put up the 18 kilometres of wire fencing needed for WEF, he said on Monday.

The 5,000 soldiers represent the largest ever deployment for the Swiss army at the high-profile gathering. Last year there were 4,000. 3,500 are already on duty.

WEF, which should attract around 2,600 people, is seen by some as elitist. Every year there are protests by anti-WEF demonstrators in Davos and beyond.

Saturday already saw one in Bern foiled by police, who later charged around 150 people with breaching the peace.

Soldiers erect a security fence in Davos (Keystone/Arno Balzarini)

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