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State Department: Greece - Public Announcement, April 29, 1999


Greece - Public Announcement
April 29, 1999

On April 27, 1999, a terrorist group placed a bomb at the Intercontinental Hotel in Athens, killing one person and injuring one other. Neither of the victims was a U.S. citizen. On April 25, a bomb placed at the Fulbright Foundation office in Thessaloniki was safely defused by local police. On April 1, a contract security guard at the U.S. Consulate General in Thessaloniki thwarted an attempt to place a gas cannister bomb in front of that facility. The perpetrator was arrested and released on bail. Security at all U.S. Government facilities in Greece has been tightened.

Following the bombing of the Intercontinental Hotel, Greek Prime Minister Simitis condemned the attack, adding that the government would do its duty, and called on the Greek people to resist and condemn such violence.

Since the beginning of the NATO air strikes in Serbia, there have been almost daily demonstrations at the U.S. Embassy in Athens and the Consulate General in Thessaloniki. Some of these demonstrations have been violent. A number of threats have been issued against U.S. officials in Greece.

On April 2, the State Department incorporated information about the demonstrations and threats into the Consular Information Sheet for Greece.

The Embassy is not aware of any specific threats against U.S. tourists or residents in Greece at this time, but several active terrorist groups have at times targeted U.S. Government and U.S. commercial interests. The April 27 incident may represent an increased potential for violence. The Department of State urges American citizens traveling or residing in Greece to exercise appropriate security precautions and avoid demonstrations.

This is not a warning to defer travel to Greece. Persons with business to conduct at the Embassy or the Consulate General are advised to check in advance to avoid any scheduled demonstration. Up-to-date recorded information is available from the U.S. Embassy in Athens at 30-1-720-2466.

For further information on travel to Greece consult the latest Department of State Consular Information Sheet for Greece dated April 2, 1999.

This Public Announcement expires June 23, 1999.

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Thursday, 29 April 1999, 16:22 EST