Parliament debates Sept. 11 fallout

Greece’s party leaders yesterday debated the events of September 11 and their consequences. It was an opportunity for Prime Minister Costas Simitis to declare his government’s full backing for the US-led international coalition against terrorism, while opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis, who agreed with this, also claimed the government was incapable of dealing with home-grown terrorism. The two left-wing parties in Parliament attacked the government for being an apologist for the war in Afghanistan. All parties united in condemning terrorism. The demand for peace, for the restoration of peace, the demand to lives with security in the future, presupposes the destruction of terrorism, Simitis said. This is the exclusive aim of the developments of the last weeks. It is not an act of vengeance, an arbitrary act, a clash of cultures or religions. It is a war against vengeance, against arbitrary acts, against bigotry, against fanaticism that does not care about human lives and values, he said. We express our solidarity in this war, we stand by our partners in the European Union, our allies in NATO, we support the efforts of the United States. This is what the values of democracy and freedom demand, for which we have fought repeatedly in our history. Greece’s interests demand it. Communist Party chief Aleka Papariga declared: The prime minister felt the need to assure the United States that he is an ally, that he shares their guilt. It’s disgusting, they are just ordinary people with ordinary lives, said Perdita Norris, whose husband Peter is an avid plane spotter and author of a book on military aircraft. He has taken it badly and I worry about their mental health. Greece has disgraced itself.

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