July 16, 2012 - 15:51 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - IOC President Jacques Rogge praised British organizers Monday, July 16 for acting quickly to bring in thousands of extra troops to guard the London Olympics and said the heavy security presence at the games will "definitely not spoil the fun."
The Associated Press reports that with the opening ceremony 11 days away, Rogge said organizers displayed "a good show of flexibility" to deal with the failure by private security firm G4S to recruit enough personnel to protect venues — a major embarrassment for the host country.
The blunder has forced the British government to deploy an extra 3,500 troops - above the 7,500 already assigned to guard venues and sensitive sites.
"There will be an extra input of soldiers and this is something that gives us tranquility," Rogge said in a conference call. "The soldiers will compensate for the security people that will not be provided by G4S."
The massive Olympic security operation also includes RAF combat jets, surface-to-air missiles on rooftops and an aircraft carrier on the River Thames.
Despite the heavy measures, Rogge said the games will not be overwhelmed by security, which has been the IOC's No. 1 priority ever since the terrorist attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Munich Games.
However, a new poll published Friday showed the popularity of the current prime minister, Mario Monti, had risen to 49 percent and that a return of Berlusconi to the political fray would make little difference to his party.
Rogge said it was not uncommon for host cities to face unexpected problems in the final stage of preparations.
"The issues that came up here has been handled well," he said. "What counts is the flexibility of the organizing committee and the government when something comes up and I think they have been very flexible and very adaptive."