Civil defense plan to cover metro attacks

Greece’s revised civil defense planning, which will include responses to biological, chemical and nuclear threats as well as terrorist attacks on the Athens metro, came officially into effect yesterday. However, the upgraded plan, code-named Xenocrates – after the fourth-century BC Greek philosopher – is not expected to be fully operational for another six months, when ministries and regional authorities are to have drawn up their own specialized emergency programs. For the first time, civil defense planning will include the services of volunteer groups, which will provide support for planning, prevention and reconstruction while also helping to address natural disasters. The ministries of the Interior and Public Order will stay in charge of overall response to emergencies, while the Public Works Ministry will handle terrorist attacks or accidents on the Athens metro network.