Greece No Slacker on Terrorism

The Christian Science Monitor, February 2, 2001 | Go to article overview

Greece No Slacker on Terrorism


The Feb. 14 opinion piece "Don't ignore Greek terrorism" by E. Wayne Merry does little justice to the serious subject of terrorism. Mr. Merry's oft-repeated allegations against Greece in connection with the 2004 Olympic Games do not gain in credibility merely by repetition.

They are not shared by the State Department. On Feb. 9, Secretary of State Colin Powell stated: "I am confident that the authorities will do everything to make sure that the Games go off in a safe manner. I have confidence in their ability to make this happen."

The scourge of terrorism is a universal threat. As Atlanta and Munich discovered, terrorism can strike anywhere. While visiting Athens last December, I held meetings with the Athens Games organizers and was extremely impressed by the top priority they are affording security. Far from belittling the threat, they are leaving nothing to chance. They enjoy the full support of the Greek government, which treats terrorism with utmost seriousness.

The US and Greek governments have developed a close working relationship to fight terrorism. New cooperation agreements have been signed with the FBI and new laws enacted to facilitate investigations. Athens is looking forward to peaceful Games, but is formidably prepared for any challenge.

Apparently Merry's concerns do not include Americans and Kurds killed in Turkey, and Americans killed in Turkish-occupied Cyprus.

Eugene T. Rossides Washington

General Counsel American Hellenic Institute

Regarding E. Wayne Merry's Feb. 14 opinion piece "Don't ignore Greek terrorism": Terrorism is a global not just a Greek phenomenon and it is not easy to uproot it. The Greek authorities have worked hand-in-hand over the past 10 years with the FBI to reveal the identity of the November 17 terrorist organization and bring its members to justice. Terrorism can strike anywhere, from Oklahoma City, New York, and Africa to Munich, Athens, and Atlanta.

Mr. Merry's unqualified statement that Greek law-enforcement officials "wait out" the terrorists makes one think that his fact checkers must have taken an early summer vacation. …

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