NEWS

Officials put off by warning

Government officials reacted nervously on Saturday to the US State Department’s latest travel advisory update on Greece, insisting that the country is one of the world’s safest destinations. The «Consular Information Sheet» found in the State Department’s website, under the heading «Safety and Security,» states that «Certain Greek domestic terrorist groups have, in the past, assassinated US government personnel and Greek anarchist groups have recently targeted US commercial interests.» In 2002 Greek police, cooperating with British and American agents, arrested several members of the November 17 terrorist organization, the only one known to have carried lethal attacks against US political and military personnel. Although it is widely assumed that certain N17 members and sympathizers remain at large, authorities believe that the group’s operational arm has been dismantled. Asked about the warning, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said «it is known that November 17 members have been arrested and imprisoned but there is always the possibility that others from that or other groups (may be at large).» Greek authorities acknowledge that the hunt for terrorists is still going on, but authorities appeared rather piqued over the continued US warnings. «In the fight against terrorism, Greece has achieved great victories. The struggle against a global phenomenon, such as terrorism, is continuous,» government officials said. Ever since the US imposed an advisory against American citizens traveling to Greece back in 1985, as a result of Palestinians’ hijacking a TWA plane whose flight originated in Athens, Greece has been sensitive to any US pronouncements that may cast doubt on safety conditions.