NEWS

International cooperation vs. terrorism

The Greek government and the organizers of Athens 2004 will do all in their power to ensure that the Olympic Games are safe from terrorism, Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said yesterday. But no nation can afford to act alone against international terrorism and police work is not enough, he added, addressing a seminar on terrorism that was held at the Foreign Ministry. As a country organizing the Olympic Games, we have to build a security system that will take into consideration all these dangers, Chrysochoidis said. But this needs to consider something else that is important… the way in which intelligence is gathered – how, in other words, we can build intelligence systems which will work as deterrents, as preventive measures, against any danger. Chrysochoidis noted that Greece is working with another seven countries which have experience in combating terrorism, so that the issue of the Olympic Games’ security can take on its true dimension. Greece, Athens 2004 and the international team of experts, under the umbrella of the International Olympic Committee, are trying at this time to organize the best planning to achieve safe Olympic Games, Chrysochoidis said. Security is no longer a narrow police issue, he added. International cooperation is essential, because each country brings in its experience, its knowledge, its technology. And I believe that this marriage of knowledge, of intelligence, is perhaps the most important element that can contribute to our success. The seminar on Terrorism and the Evaluation of Threats was organized before September 11. The new minister fears that these projects will run into many legal problems, especially due to nearby residents going to court to stop them, which could lead to unpredictable delays. She is also concerned about the viability of some of the construction projects as well as conflicting jurisdiction between ministries.