NEWS

‘Little left’ to be done for Games security

Security preparations ahead of the August Olympics are almost complete, Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said in an interview with Sunday Kathimerini, adding that his major concern is «the smooth running» of the sporting events rather than security. Meanwhile, Public Order Ministry sources quoted by the Athens News Agency yesterday said police and military guards at Olympic venues have been upped by 500 since last Wednesday, currently standing at 1,300, while their numbers are steadily increasing. According to Voulgarakis, full, Olympic-scale security will be in force from July 1. Speaking to Kathimerini, the minister also ruled out other countries being allowed to send armed guards to protect their athletes during the Games. «Let me make it perfectly clear: Armed foreign escorts for foreign sporting contingents is not permissible,» he said. As to security preparations, Voulgarakis said that «very little remains to be done» to complete them. The minister also castigated as «entirely lacking in credibility» a London Times reporter who wrote a story last week describing how she was able to enter the main Olympic stadium unhindered at night, presenting the escapade as a major security breach. The reporter, Laura Peek, and a Times photographer were caught in the stadium just before midnight on Wednesday, but released without charges after a brief detention at the local police station. On Saturday, police caught another three British journalists just inside the main Olympic complex. They, too, were released after a brief detention.