NEWS

Talks begin on NATO shield

As Greek and NATO military officials yesterday discussed the details of the alliance’s participation in the security shield for the August Games, the government expressed satisfaction with its coordination on matters of Olympic security. «Our Olympic security planning is proceeding in good order,» Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis told journalists after chairing an interministerial meeting on the matter – in which top security officials participated. «We are very satisfied with all the other ministries involved and I believe that, the way things are going, we will meet the time schedules we have set. This means we will be able to organize the best and safest Olympics.» It was the second session for the Coordination Council on Olympic Security (CCOS). Today, Voulgarakis is to hold further discussions on Olympic security with the defense and merchant marine ministers. Also yesterday, Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras announced that a legislative committee has been set up to draft a new bill toward incorporating into Greece’s law European Union decisions on fighting organized crime and creating an arrest warrant that applies to the entire EU. Meanwhile, top military officials started two days of talks in Athens with a senior NATO delegation on the specifics of allied help during the August 13-29 Games. Greece has requested the use of airborne radar systems to scan its skies for possible threats from the air, the standing NATO naval force in the Mediterranean to patrol outside Greek waters, as well as a Czech NATO battalion that specializes in handling chemical, biological and radiological attacks.