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Logistics troops of the French Army on patrol in front of the Louvre
Soldier on Vigipirate duty at Gare de Lyon

Vigipirate (French: Plan Vigipirate) is France's national security alert system. Created in 1978 by President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, it has since been activated three times: in 1995 (following a terror bombing campaign), 2000, and 2004.

"Vigipirate" is a Portmanteau of "vigilance" (vigilance) or "vigie" (watchtower) and "pirate" (pirate).

The system defines four levels of threats represented by four colors: yellow, orange, red, scarlet.

The system calls for specific security measures, including increased police or police/military mixed patrols in subways, train stations and other vulnerable locations.

Opponents of the plan derisively call it "Plan Vichypirate", in reference to the Vichy regime, because of its influence on citizens' privacy[citation needed].

Levels of alert

Yellow level
Raise security levels to face real yet still uncertain dangers, through measures that are local and minimally disruptive of normal activity, while preparing to switch to "orange" or "red" within a few days.
Orange level
Take measures against plausible risks of terrorist action, including the use of means that are moderately disruptive to normal public activities, while preparing to switch to "red" or "scarlet" on short notice where possible.
Red level
Take measures against a proven risk of one or more terrorist actions, including measures to protect public institutions and putting in place appropriate means for rescue and response, authorizing a significant level of disruption to social and economic activity.
Scarlet level
Notification of a risk of major attacks, simultaneous or otherwise, using non-conventional means and causing major devastation; preparing appropriate means of rescue and response, measures that are highly disruptive to public life are authorized.

See also



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