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Bratislava prepares for Bush speech

WORK is taking place to prepare Hviezdoslavovo square for George Bush's speech on Thursday February 24 and police are putting in place safety and security measures for the event, the SITA news agency reported.

Stands, lighting and loudspeakers have been set up in the square and Russian, American and Slovak flags have been raised in the city centre.

During the visit Bratislava will be the most secure city in the world.

However, no parts of the city centre have been closed to the public yet. Visitors can still enter the Hotel Carlton where President Bush is expected to spend the night from Wednesday to Thursday.

The accreditation desk for members of the delegations and personnel has been installed. Metal detectors are already in place for security checks.

One lane has been closed along Vajanského nábrežie street, which runs along the river Danube between the Old Bridge and the New Bridge.

Heavy equipment has been brought in, including barriers, armoured personnel carriers, and water cannons.

There is a larger than usual police presence around Bratislava castle, the venue for the Bush-Putin talks on February 24. However, the castle is still open to the public.

The US president is expected to arrive in Slovakia on the evening of Wednesday February 23, following short visits to Germany and Belgium.

Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports


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