NEWS

Parliament beefs up security after letter-bomb attack

TAGS: Crime

Parliament is introducing stricter measures for monitoring incoming mail after former prime minister Lucas Papademos was injured by a letter bomb last week.

“The measures must be implemented for everyone, without limitation or distinction,” an announcement that was distributed to all of Parliament’s offices said, explaining that all incoming mail will be subjected to two separate inspections.

Mail coming via regular post as well as that dispatched by courier will be double-checked and signed off on by a police officer after going through the initial screening process. Courier service workers will also be prohibited from entering the main Parliament building or any of its other premises, meaning that an employee from the office to which a letter or parcel is addressed will have to take delivery of it at the entrance from security personnel.

Mail coming in by regular post will be collected and checked twice a day before distribution, while inspections will also be conducted by bomb disposal experts, using an x-ray machine and dogs trained to sniff out explosives.

Papademos, who served as interim prime minister for a few months five years ago, was injured when an envelope exploded in his hands while he was in his car on the corner of Patission and Marni streets in downtown Athens on Thursday. His driver and bodyguard also sustained slight injuries in the blast. They were given a clean bill of health several hours later.

The 69-year-old central banker is still under observation at the capital’s Evangelismos Hospital after undergoing surgery and treatment for injuries to his abdomen and legs.

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