Security: Shooting ourselves in the foot

Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis is a very mindful politician. Hence we were really surprised to hear his recent remarks (at the launch of a book about the trial of November 17 terrorists) which came 50 days before the Olympic Games opening ceremony and followed a torrent of negative reports by foreign media (which Greece criticized for distorting reality or of serving a secret agenda) on Olympic security. «It is a fact that the operational arm of the organization has been dismantled,» Voulgarakis said. «But there are unseen aspects which must still come to light,» he added. To be sure, the public shares some of the minister’s observations – which was to be expected given the magnitude of the trial of a shadowy organization that dogged the Greek authorities for over 30 years. The question is whether Voulgarakis should have voiced these concerns in the runup to the Games, particularly in light of Greek efforts to convince the public across the world that by cracking down on the group and bringing its members to justice, Greece had dealt a final blow on domestic terrorism. The disruption of November 17 was our (and the minister’s) central argument both during our contacts with foreign intelligence officials and at visits by Greek delegations to foreign capitals. Is there any reason for shooting ourselves in the foot 50 days before the Olympics?