Tomorrow, June 27, the “critical phase” of the Eirene Device will be activated, designed by the Ministry of the Interior to guarantee the safety of the Heads of State and Government who will arrive in Madrid for the NATO Summit. An unprecedented deployment in history that will include 6,550 national police, 2,400 civil guards and 1,200 municipal police. But it will be on Tuesday, the day on which the bulk of the forty international delegations arrive, when citizens begin to notice the collapse of the city center, with traffic cuts, blocked streets and security perimeters around hot spots that will be impassable . The authorities only repeat one word: “patience”.
The starting signal for the summit of the Atlantic Alliance – from which the new road map that will mark the path of NATO for the next ten years should come out – will take place on June 28, at the moment in which the president of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, symbolically hand over the keys to IFEMA to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The fairground has been completely shielded. The Metro line that usually reaches its doors will be partially open. The pavilions can only be reached by shuttle bus, when double security checks are previously passed.
Interior sources explain that all the workers who present service at IFEMA on those days – from cleaners to waiters – have passed “huge” screenings in which their records have been looked at with a magnifying glass, including possible antecedents.
The day before there will be bilateral meetings in Moncloa and at the end of the day the Kings will offer a dinner to the leaders who are already in Madrid. That day, no major inconveniences are expected within the almond of the M-30.
On Wednesday 29 the summit officially begins
It will be during the transfer of the delegations to IFEMA when the inconvenience is most noticeable
On Wednesday the 29th the dance will begin. The delegations have blocked up to 45 four and five star hotels in the city center. One fact: only the American delegation has reserved 1,200 rooms, police sources point out. In a perimeter of between 300 and 500 meters from these hotels, the agents will create police cordons.
From Monday the City Council will expand “in a very notable way” the parking spaces reserved for hotels and in them no individual will be able to park. Another fact also from the United States delegation: the caravan that accompanies Joe Biden on his trips will be made up of fifty vehicles.
It will be precisely during the transfer of the 40 delegations to IFEMA –and their return– when the people of Madrid will notice the inconvenience the most. First thing in the morning and first thing in the afternoon. The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) will cut the circulation of vehicles entering and leaving Madrid on the A-2, the M-11 and the M-40, in the section between the A-2 and the M-11.
In addition, the Castellana axis –from Atocha to Plaza Castilla– will also suffer occasional cuts in these time slots. Every day, more than 500,000 vehicles enter Madrid through the different access roads to the capital. For this reason, the authorities, in addition to asking in recent weeks for teleworking, beg to use public transport. Especially the subway.
The most critical moment, all the police sources consulted agree, will be experienced during dinner on Wednesday at the Prado Museum, in the heart of the city. Two Coordination Centers –one at IFEMA and the other in a location not designated for security reasons– will monitor every movement: the subsoil will be combed, there will be drones flying over the city and more than a thousand riot police deployed. For now, the anti-terrorist alert level remains at 4, although the evaluations will be constant until now.
The center will not breathe calm while the leaders are at IFEMA on Wednesday and Thursday – this last day the secretary general will offer a massive press conference where he will announce the conclusions. And it is that while the heads of State and Government, a cultural program will be carried out for the companions of international leaders, led by Queen Letizia. Among the places they will visit: Reina Sofía Museum, Royal Theater, the Royal Site of San Ildefonso and the Royal Glass Factory of La Granja, in Segovia. Around them, again, security perimeters.