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Germans Ordered To Stay Away From Windows When Obama Comes To Town

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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Residents in the German city of Hanover received clear instructions to stay away from their windows and not wave when President Barack Obama comes to town April 24.

People who are spotted by their windows will get a visit from Germany’s secret service, police said in a statement to residents. The area in Hanover near the city’s zoo will further be more or less shut down for a few hours when Obama meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Please understand that security forces operate under special alert during the visit of the U.S. president,” police wrote in a statement to locals.

A visit from the U.S. president usually means complete chaos in international cities. The Secret Service has to tailor each “road game” and coordinate with local authorities.

When former President George W. Bush visited India’s capital New Delhi in 2006, the city of 22 million people turned into a complete ghost town, as residents and cows were told to stay inside.

“We had to look a couple of hundred yards down the street to see any people,” Steve Atkiss, who served as special assistant for operations to Bush, said in a 2015 interview with The Washington Post.

When Obama visited New Dehli last year, the city closed public transportation and federal offices days in advance of the president’s arrival.

The increased security comes at high cost for American tax payers. Obama’s eight-day trip to Africa in 2013, for example, cost between $60 and $100 million, according to The Washington Post.

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