NEWS

Diplomats drop blue license plates

VASSILIS NEDOS

TAGS: Diplomacy

The fear of being targeted by terrorists has forced some foreign embassy staff in Greece to change the traditional blue license plates on their vehicles that mark them out as belonging to diplomats in favor of regular ones used by the local population.

The trend began a few years ago when the cars of foreign diplomats started increasingly being targeted in arson attacks. The Turkish Embassy in Athens was among the first to adopt the measure as its cars were regularly pelted by stones and paint, especially during demonstrations.

EU countries such as Germany and France have stopped using blue plates because of the recent rise in attacks by radical Islamists across Europe. Greece is not considered a high-level target by Islamist terrorists, but the same does not apply to foreign diplomats based in the country.

Eastern European embassies have reportedly also received guidelines from their respective countries to take necessary safety measures, including the removal of diplomatic plates.

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