Europe grieves for victims of terror

Flags will fly at half-mast across Greece today and public services will observe three minutes’ silence at 1 p.m. in memory of the thousands of people who died in the terrorist attacks that struck New York and Washington on Tuesday. The day of mourning is part of a Europe-wide expression of grief and solidarity with the United States as it searches for the victims of the attacks and weighs its response. The Greek government said also that it was working with its partners in the European Union to plan our next moves in order to achieve our aims in dealing with this international problem. Flags at Greek representations abroad and at the Foreign Ministry have been flying at half-mast since Wednesday, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. The Greek government expresses its outrage at this terrorist attack, Reppas repeated, adding that Greece is strongly determined to cooperate in order to confront and wipe out this plague. With respect to security measures in Greece, Reppas said the competent police services have been mobilized to deal with every possible danger. He would provide no further details, saying the issue was not subject to public discussion. On the decision by NATO countries to activate Article 5 of the alliance’s charter, which members decided at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, Reppas said, This decision, which was taken unanimously, will be implemented after negotiations that will be held by the military council, with the participation of all the NATO members. NATO’s Article 5 says that all members must stand by any member that comes under attack from abroad. Foreign Ministry spokesman Panayiotis Beglitis said that Foreign Minister George Papandreou and other European ministers, at an emergency general affairs council meeting, had made their case for retaliation that would not endanger the values on which the EU has been built. They noted that the EU will have to express its determination to deal with international terrorism, without this meaning that it will take measures that will undermine democratic institutions, all the democratic gains of the countries of Western Europe with regard to the protection of human rights. For Greece there is no dilemma between fighting international terrorism and creating a police state, Beglitis said. We always say yes to fighting international terrorism without contributing to the creation of a climate of hysteria and strengthening police measures. Meanwhile, two people of Greek extraction – John Katsimatidis, 30, and Ioanna Achladioti, 27 – were named as missing out of the 23 Greeks who have not been accounted for, along with thousands of other people. Another 73 Greek Americans were listed among the survivors. People wanting to inquire about loved ones may call 368.5555 in Athens or 001-212.988.5500 in New York. The leader of Greece’s conservative New Democracy party, Costas Karamanlis, remained in Boston yesterday, unable to return to Athens because of the ban on flights in the United States. Karamanlis, who spoke at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University on Monday, was scheduled to speak at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair this weekend. He was to attend a memorial service for the terror attack victims in Boston last night. Athens 2004 security in spotlight Security plans for the Athens 2004 Olympics have come under further scrutiny in the light of the recent terrorist acts in the USA. The security of the Games has always been the number one priority and now it is even more so, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee told Kathimerini yesterday. Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis told Flash radio in Athens that the security program will change every day, but this does not mean that its basic philosophy or its basic aims will change. He stressed that Greece was cooperating with many other countries in planning security for the Games. These include the United States, Israel, Britain, France, Australia and Spain. It is Greece’s duty to organize a safe Games, Chrysochoidis said. Athens 2004 Organizing Committee president Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki sent a message of condolence to President George W. Bush, urging all nations to unite against terrorism. Murder suspect. A man was arrested in Halkidiki on Wednesday afternoon in connection with a murder four years ago in a night club in Halkidiki. Aristidis Kefalas allegedly stabbed a waiter, Sophocles Tsitiridis, 46, in the stomach because he was late in bringing his order. He then fatally stabbed Nikolaos Dosas who tried to stop him.

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