EU dignitaries in town for Nobel present challenge for Oslo police

Published söndag 9 december 2012 kl 17:10
Photo: Yves Logghe / AP / Scanpix
People walk past the Nobel Peace center in Oslo on Sunday. On Monday, the EU will be granted a Peace Prize for fostering peace on a continent ravaged by war. Photo: Yves Logghe / AP / Scanpix

Oslo has ramped up security to one of its highest levels ever ahead of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony Monday. At least 21 heads of government and more than 30 top leaders in the EU plan to attend.

As an extra security measure, a no-fly zone over Oslo was instituted beginning Sunday, according to Swedish Radio news and the Norwegian Radio, NRK.

This past week, Norway has also taken extra precautions at its borders, requiring people to show their passports in order to get into the country ahead of the ceremony.

The Nobel Committee faced strong criticism for its choice to grant this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union, as it also faced for granting US President Barack Obama the prize in 2009. That was the year requiring Oslo to boost its security the most, but this year comes second, and Oslo police are getting reinforcements from other districts in order to manage their task.

One of the problems for the police has been that they still do not know exactly how many people will attend and will not know until Monday morning, when most of the prominent guests arrive, reports Swedish Radio News.

"It's a big responsibility with so many prominent guests coming. It needs to be taken seriously," says Johan Frediksson, the police chief of staff.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt will not attend, since he will be busy with Nobel festivities in Stockholm.

The Peace Prize is the only Nobel award not given in Stockholm. At the time Alfred Nobel wrote his will, Sweden and Norway were in a union, and he wanted one of the prizes to be granted in Oslo.

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