Over 4,000 members of the Swiss army will bolster cantonal and federal police in providing beefed-up security for this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos.
Briefing the media on Monday, Graubünden Cantonal Police Chief Walter Schlegel said that 4,400 soldiers – of a maximum possible 5,000 – would join police forces from across Switzerland and Liechtenstein in maintaining a high-security perimeter around the mountain village.
“Without the army, the security of the Forum could not be guaranteed,” he said. Road and rail access to the village will be strictly screened, while a no-fly zone of up to 6,000 metres in altitude and 50 kilometres in area will stretch into Austria and Italy.
By order of the Switzerland’s Federal Council – the country’s executive body – any aircraft breaching the no-fly zone is liable to be shot down.
Schlegel also praised cooperation between Swiss security forces and the American secret service in preparing for US President Donald Trump’s possible visit, scheduled for Friday. However, in line with doubts about his participation that have surfaced since the government shut-down in Washington, D.C., the police chief could not confirm that Trump would come.
Other leaders expected to attend WEF include the French, German, and Italian presidents, the British and Indian Prime Ministers, and the head of the European Commission. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Switzerland on Monday.
The annual meeting starts on Tuesday and runs until Friday. Correspondents from swissinfo.ch are providing regular updates from on-site.