Full-scale meeting on ’04 security

Military, intelligence, police, coast guard and fire brigade chiefs conferred yesterday with government officials in a large-scale meeting under Public Order Minister Giorgos Floridis to discuss security planning ahead of the 2004 Olympics. The meeting, which Floridis said was part of a series that would be stepped up over the next few months, was held on the eve of today’s talks on Olympics security under Prime Minister Costas Simitis, in which the ministers of foreign affairs, public order, defense and culture will participate – along with Police Chief Fotis Nasiakos. «We have entered the final phase in security preparations for the Olympic Games,» Floridis said. A statement from his ministry said yesterday’s meeting focused on security crisis management during the August Olympics, and evaluated the results of an exercise focusing on Athens 2004 security that was conducted last month – in Stuttgart. At an estimated budget of over 625 million euros, security planning for the two-week event will be the costliest in the 108-year history of the modern Games.