G-7 leaders at the summit in Italy posed for a group photo on Friday. (May 26)
TAORMINA, Sicily âÂ Security is always tight when the Group of Seven world leaders gather, but the summit here FridayÂ includes contingencies against aÂ suicide bombing like the one in Manchester, England,Â violent protests â or even an eruption by Mount Etna.
As President Trump meets with leaders of six other major industrialized democracies for two days,Â more than 10,000 security personnel will be stationed around thisÂ picturesque cliff-side village, according to the Italian government. That protective force almost equals theÂ year-round population of 11,000.
Hundreds of security cameras have been placed around town. And every visitor will have been screened ahead of time. Bomb-sniffing dogs have been deployed for days.
âTaormina will be like a giant fortress,â said Sabrina Magris, president of the Florence-based Ecole Universitaire Internationale, which focuses on security issues.
Taormina, founded as a Greek colony in the fourth century B.C., is known for its grand views of the Mediterranean Sea and winding, narrow streets.
All non-essential personnel âÂ including journalists, event support staffÂ and a large part of each nation’sÂ staff âÂ will be based in Giardini Naxos, a sea-level community about 2Â½ miles from Taormina. Protests will take place in Giardini NaxosÂ as well, far from the world leaders.
The G-7 summit will be a first for four of the leaders: Trump, Franceâs newly elected President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and British Prime Minister Theresa May.Â The other threeÂ are…