More terrorist measures are inevitable

The public order minister admitted, in comments published yesterday, that despite its reservations, Greece would likely adopt the anti-terrorist measures agreed upon at an emergency EU meeting last week. «If the experts decide that certain capabilities need to be in place across the EU, then the legal interpretation in Greece needs to reflect this,» said Giorgos Voulgarakis, commenting on the possibility of new and tougher measures being adopted in Greece, in an interview with the Eleftherotypia daily newspaper. Voulgarakis and Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras represented Greece at the emergency meeting of EU justice and interior ministers in Brussels last Wednesday, held in the wake of the London terrorist bombings. The ministers agreed to speed up the implementation of measures to combat terrorism, such as the exchange of information between law enforcement authorities. They agreed to finalize the details of several key measures by the end of the year, including controversial plans to force telephone and Internet providers in Europe to keep records of their customers’ communication for three years. Voulgarakis said Greece had expressed some reservations about the measures during last week’s meeting but did not voice its concerns as loudly as it had wanted to. «In such a highly charged atmosphere, with all the states competing against each other to suggest more measures, it would have been extremely damaging for us to stand in the way of a common declaration from the 25 members,» he said. Conscious that elements of the anti-terrorism measures have caused some concern about an erosion of privacy rights, the ruling conservatives had suggested that some of them might not apply to Greece. However, Voulgarakis effectively admitted that Greece has little choice but to implement them. He cited Greece bringing in new biometric passports and implementing the EU arrest warrant from next year as examples of how the country had adapted its legislation to take on board tougher Union rules.

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