BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s capital is getting ready for massive security measures ahead of this week’s summit of leaders from European Union member states.
Europe’s future and the continent’s migration crisis will be central issues at Friday’s meeting, which comes as the member states remain rattled by Britain’s June vote to leave the EU.
Authorities said security will be the tightest since Bratislava hosted a 2005 summit between U.S. President George W. Bush and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
In a statement issued on Monday, Prime Minister Robert Fico asked Bratislava’s citizens for patience and understanding.
Fico also called on directors of elementary and high schools to give the students an extra day off on Friday, and asked citizens to take a day off from work and possibly leave the capital.
The EU leaders are meeting at Bratislava Castle. Among major traffic limits, roads and highways that lead from the castle to Bratislava’s international airport will be shut down for two hours in the morning when the leaders will be landing and another three hours in the evening while they leave. All bridges that cross the Danube River will also be closed briefly as the visitors take a cruise trip during the day.
Officials say no flights are planned to be canceled but they are advising passengers to get to the airport at least three hours before their flights.