BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 1 January, 2003, 06:02 GMT
Europe celebrates amid tight security
German revellers near the Brandenburg Gate
Germans celebrated by the Brandenburg Gate
People in cities across Europe have been seeing in the New Year, with tight security in place to counter the risk of terror attacks.

In Paris, 6,500 police officers and troops were on duty.

Russian soldier dressed as Father Christmas
Russians are celebrating despite security concerns
Huge crowds gathered at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, the symbolic heart of Germany, for a massive street party which stretches for 2.5km (1.5 miles) along the Under den Linden boulevard.

In the Russian capital Moscow thousands turned out despite temperatures of -20C.

There were 250,000 police on duty around the country, following last Friday's bombing of a government building in the troubled republic of Chechnya.

"May each of us succeed in his affairs. That's what our lives depend on. That's what the fate of our country depends on," said President Vladimir Putin in his New Year message to the nation.

Shops in the centre of Moscow were banned from selling alcohol in an attempt by the city authorities to curb drunkenness.

Official celebrations in Chechnya itself were cancelled as a mark of respect to the victims of Friday's attack.

Eiffel fireworks

Up to 300,000 Parisian revellers saw in the New Year in the Champs Elysees.

The city has seen a string of arrests of suspected Islamic militants in the past few weeks, amid fears that some kind of attack might be imminent.

The Czech Republic held a rock concert at an underground station in Prague, which was refurbished after the dramatic summer floods which swept through the city.

In Hungary, police targeted illegally imported fireworks, after the government launched a campaign to draw attention to the dangers they pose.

Muted

In the UK, both London's mayor and the police urged people not to attend the traditional gathering in Trafalgar Square, which is closed for building work.

Newcastle parade
Newcastle says it will host England's best party
Instead, other areas of the country became the focal points for the New Year celebrations, including the north-eastern city of Newcastle which claimed it could offer England's biggest celebrations.

In Scotland, thousands turned out on the streets, with Princes Street in Edinburgh among the traditional focal points.

Not a single manual officially bans a glass of champagne marking the New Year, but every nuclear power plant has the unspoken rule

Russian energy ministry
In Spain, celebrations were expected to be muted after a law banning the public consumption of alcohol came into force earlier in the year.

But atomic energy workers in Russia said they would not touch a drop of alcohol, the Russian energy ministry publicly vowed, reminding the public that the 10,000 workers will be keeping the country warm while everyone else celebrates.

"Not a single manual officially bans a glass of champagne marking the New Year, but every nuclear power plant has the unspoken rule," the press service said.

See also:

31 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
31 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes