Greece Protests Terrorism with Moment of Silence Memorial 40 Days after Assassination

Article excerpt

ATHENS, Greece -- Greeks observed an unprecedented nationwide minute of silence against terrorism yesterday, part of a government-sponsored publicity campaign to fight a menace that has plagued the country for 25 years.

An anti-terrorism message was also broadcast on all private and state-run television and radio networks at noon, as public services stopped working for a minute.

"It is a threat to contemporary Greece," the message said. "The fight against terrorism is a priority. It is a priority, not only for the state, but also for the Greek people and their political culture."

It aired 40 days after terrorists assassinated a British diplomat on the streets of Athens, a time period that is significant to the Orthodox Christians who make up the majority of Greece's population. Orthodox traditionally hold memorial services 40 days after the death of a loved one.

"It constitutes a commitment by the government and a pursuit by society not to abandon the effort to uproot terrorism," the message said.

International criticism mounted against Greece's inability to crack down on terrorism after the June 8 killing of Brig. Stephen Saunders by two men on a motorcycle as he drove to work. …