NEWS

‘Michael Mouse’ told to grow up

Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis summarily dismissed as «a deep insult to journalism» a British tabloid’s claim yesterday that one of its undercover reporters had made a mockery of Greece’s costly security arrangements by planting fake bombs at the main Olympic complex unnoticed. Yesterday’s Sunday Mirror said reporter Bob Graham had managed to get a job at the main stadium in early June without undergoing an interview and with no references being demanded. Furthermore, the tabloid claimed, its reporter’s passport was «crammed with border entry stamps from countries known to harbor Al Qaeda [terrorist] sympathizers, such as Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.» The paper said Graham, working as a forklift driver, managed to plant three mock bombs – consisting of plasticine, batteries and wire – in the complex without anyone seeing him. It added that a security sweep of the venues on August 8 had failed to locate the devices. Voulgarakis angrily dismissed the story, without addressing any of the Sunday Mirror’s allegations. «I would recommend that Mr Bob Graham read fewer detective stories,» he said. «Articles of this sort constitute a deep insult to journalism and the principles of objective and responsible information.» The minister claimed that the main Olympic complex is «absolutely safe,» adding that the area was carefully checked. «The fact that the Olympic Games themselves are taking place is the best proof,» Voulgarakis argued. «Certain other people should re-examine their code of ethics and behavior.» He had no comment on the Sunday Mirror’s allegation that Graham had managed to wander round the main stadium using passes under names such as «Michael Mouse» and «Robert bin Laden.»