Scotland's Gleneagles to become $100 million worth fortress for G8 summit

The Gleneagles golf club, where the summit is set to take place, has been encircled with eight kilometers of steel barriers equipped with observation posts

The summit of the Group of Eight, one of the central events of global political scale, is slated to take place this week in Gleneagles, Scotland. The 31st meeting of leaders of Great Britain, France, Russia, the USA, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan will have two major issues on the agenda: the problem of climate changes and debts of Africa's poorest nations.

According to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the two of the above-mentioned subjects are closely connected with each other. Climate changes affect millions of people in Africa, who suffer from consequences of natural disasters, such as floods. If the world helps African states in their struggle against poverty, it might boost the development of the African economy. The economic development of African states is not supposed to exert a negative influence on the ecological security of the region, Blair said.

Tony Blair is certain that the international community must ease the tax burden of Africa and help African states obtain an opportunity to help themselves too – develop the court system, the sphere of education and healthcare. The British PM described the situation in African states as unbearable, when 30,000 African children die of illnesses, armed conflicts and hunger every year.

The leaders of China, India, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil have been invited to visit Scotland to participate in the discussion of the climate change issue. South African, Nigerian, Tanzanian, Ethiopian, Algerian, Egyptian and Senegal leaders are expected to come to Gleneagles for the discussion of financial issues of Africa.

The summit will be held at Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire. About 2,000 reporters will be providing the coverage of the event: a whole press township with conference rooms and studios has been built for them near the hotel within only a month.

One has to give Scotland credit for its serious approach to preparations for the top meeting. London was keeping the general coordination of actions under its control and assigned some J20 million for the summit. However, Scottish authorities took a lot of efforts to guarantee hospitable and secure atmosphere for the international guests.

Students of Scottish schools will be welcoming the foreign guests at the airport of Prestwick. In addition, the Prime Minister of Scotland Jack McConnell will present “purely Scottish gifts” to the guests.

Security measures, which are going to be taken for the forthcoming summit of the Group of Eight in Gleneagles, may incite outbursts of protesting actions, a spokeswoman for the Scottish parliament believes. According to the deputy, the security measures, which are being taken before the summit, may send a wrong signal to the society. Colin Fox, the leader of the Scottish Socialist Party, said that Gleneagles was turning into an unassailable fortress because of the police measures.

One demonstrator was killed in brutal clashes between the police and anti-globalists during the G8 summit in 2001 in Genoa. US authorities had to take rather serious measures a year earlier in Seattle, to be able to cope with manifestations during a WTO conference, Itar Tass reports.

Spokespeople for the Scottish government stated that all members of protesting actions would be given an opportunity to fully express their points of view, if they conduct their actions within legal framework.

According to experts' estimates, organizers of the summit are to spend not less than J50 million (some $100 million) to guarantee security to top-level foreign guests during the summit. However, such unprecedented measures do not guarantee safety of the capital of Scotland and its outskirts.

The Gleneagles golf club, where the summit is set to take place, has been encircled with eight kilometers of steel barriers equipped with observation posts. About 10,000 policemen will be protecting the venue of the summit. Any unauthorized person, who attempts to cross the barriers, will be arrested immediately, a spokesman for local law-enforcement authorities said. To crown it all, the air space above the town will be closed during the top-level talks. Vendors board up their shops to save their places from pogroms and looters, Newsru wrote

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Author`s name Olga Savka