NEWS

Crisis-prevention measures at Greece’s borders and ports

The port of Piraeus, where 12 cruise ships will serve as floating hotels for 13,500 people, will have special security arrangements. Movement sensors will be set up around an Olympic Zone around the port, which will also be monitored by cameras and patrols. Access is to be controlled by metal detectors at entry points and X-ray equipment, along with a response force. Access from the sea will also be restricted, with the participation of coast guard craft, sonar systems for underwater monitoring and depth sensors. Security plans for the 213 hotels to be in use during the Games will be made according to the risk evaluation, with the greatest focus on the Hilton Hotel, the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee during the Games. Increased security measures will also be in force for hotels used by sponsors, press and officials, policed on a 24-hour basis. Vital installations such as for power, water and natural gas supplies, as well as telecommunications, will also be under guard, with the participation of 72 agencies coordinated by the Olympic Games Security Division with the cooperation of the armed forces. A special plan has been drafted to deal with the terrorism risk, by means of a crisis management system, an information network and rapid-reaction units. Special emphasis has been placed on the training of special units in the Greek police (special counterterrorism unit, bomb disposal units, negotiators and snipers) and the coast guard’s special underwater unit. The armed forces will also be involved, and preparations have been made to deal with chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear threats. During the Games, the monitoring of borders from land, sea and air will be stepped up with the cooperation of the armed forces, coast guard, border guards and police. Land borders will be patrolled, the police presence stepped up and inspections carried out around the clock, as well as surveillance from the air. Oceangoing craft will patrol the seas, along with high-speed coastal craft, coast guard helicopters and coastal monitoring systems. Passport and customs controls will be intensified at all entry points. The armed forces will be responsible for monitoring the country’s air space, in cooperation with the Civil Aviation Service and land security forces. As for confronting threats from the air, the plan followed at the Salt Lake Winter Olympics will be implemented, with tighter controls on flight security, aerial monitoring of security operations, a ban on flights over specific areas, and plans for aerial rescue operations and firefighting from the air.