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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-03-13

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] U.S. urges 'vigilance' when visiting Greece
  • [02] Goulekas interview with ANA-MPA
  • [03] Robber's bullet IDed as fatal during shooting

  • [01] U.S. urges 'vigilance' when visiting Greece

    WASHINGTON (ANA-MPA - A. Ellis) - A warning to U.S. citizens about risks from terrorist activity but also demonstrations taking place in Greece has been posted in the U.S. State Department website providing "Country specific information" for Americans travelling abroad.

    The information on the website was updated on Thursday and urges Americans to "remain vigilant," exercise caution and avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place in major urban centres, including tourist attractions like Syntagma Square in central Athens, or Aristotelous Square in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.

    In its section on 'Safety and Security', the website noted the U.S. government's concern about a heightened terrorist threat against U.S. citizens and interests abroad and that Greece's long coastline, many islands and open borders with other Schengen Agreement countries increase the chance that "terrorists might try to exploit Greece's borders" to enter and exit anonymously.

    It also noted increasing activity by domestic terrorist organisations, such as 'Revolutionary Struggle' and "Sect of Revolutionaries", in the last three years and suggested a link with the now dismantled and neutralised terrorist group November 17.

    "Recent actions indicate that the perpetrators are indiscriminate. The risk of ābeing in the wrong place at the wrong timeā in the event of a terrorist action is a concern for residents and visitors," the website stated.

    There was also a reference to the wave of violent demonstrations in central areas sparked by the killing of a 15-year-old by a policeman in December 2008.

    "When there are demonstrations, visitors should be aware of and avoid places where demonstrators frequently congregate, such as the Polytechnic University area, Exarchia, Omonia, and Syntagma Squares in Athens, and Aristotle Square in Thessaloniki. The Omonia and Exarchia areas of Athens are at particular risk for crime and politically-motivated violence; U.S. Embassy personnel and their families have been urged strongly to avoid these areas between 9 pm and dawn," the site advised, adding that university campuses are "exploited as refuges by anarchists and those involved in crime and Greek police are generally prohibited from entering their premises".

    There have been no civilian deaths or injuries as a result of terrorist activities in Greece since the jailing of November 17, which was responsible for 23 deaths over a career spanning roughly quarter of century - though one potentially lethal 50-kilo car bomb failed to explode. The wave of youth violence in December and at other times has similarly not resulted in any deaths or serious injuries among demonstrators or passers-by, though there was extensive vandalism and physical damage to businesses, banks, cars and buildings.

    Unlike travel warnings and travel alerts, which are higher-level warnings only issued for countries facing serious problems, the U.S. State Department provides 'Country Specific Information' for every country in the world. This includes practical information, such as the location of the U.S. Embassy and consulates in that country, as well as unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties.

    PASOK: We need public safety policy

    Commenting on the U.S. government's travel advice, main opposition PASOK spokesman George Papaconstantinou said that he could not condemn the U.S. State Department for urging U.S. citizens to avoid visiting certain areas of Athens.

    "Before we protest or condemn, it would be good if we ensured that we have a policy for public safety. It would have been better if the world had not seen the images that it has been seeing from Athens over the past four months," the spokesman said.

    The governmentās failure to ensure this had resulted in these "extremely unpleasant travel instructions, which offend me as a Greek," the spokesman added.

    Papaconstantinou referred to Thursday's tragic death of a young woman shop assistant during an armed robbery targeting her workplace, citing this as an example of disintegration in law and order.

    "In the country, we have an explosive mixture of heightened crime, simultaneous to the revival of terrorist phenomena, that create a deep sense of insecurity in Greek citizens," he stated.

    [02] Goulekas interview with ANA-MPA

    Deputy Interior Minister Costas G<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">ioulekas, <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">who holds the media portfolio, <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">appeared optimistic that the<font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> government <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">will soon rebound in opinion polls, while at the same time he <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">critici<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">sed main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou for <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">what he called a<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> negative stance toward the prime minister's invitation for consensus on the global <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">economic<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> crisis. G<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">ioulekas<font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> referred to opinion polls<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">, according to which, 70 pct of <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">respondents <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">want political parties to reach a consensus in order to exit the crisis, pointing out that efforts by the government toward this end were once again met with rejection, <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">"<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">populist practices and demagoguery<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">"<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">. He stressed that the government plan <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">to exit the crisis is more than enough, adding that additional measures for the financially weak<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">er segments of society<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> will be taken if it is deemed necessary. On the likelihood of early general elections, G<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">ioulekas underlined that the issue has been closed in the most <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">categorical manner <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">by the prime minister himself. He also <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">dismissed<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> any<font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> notion of a "political<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> rapprochement<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">"<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> with<font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> the Parliament-represented<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> Popular Orthodox Rally (LA<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">.OS)<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">.

    [03] Robber's bullet IDed as fatal during shooting

    The bullet that killed a 32-year-old <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">saleswoman<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">on Thursday <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">at a<font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> mobile telephone and <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">electronic<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">s outlet in <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">the east Athens district of <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">Vyronas<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">, during an armed robbery<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">, <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">was traced to a <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">9mm <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">handgun allegedly used by a <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">23-year-old robber. According to <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">an autopsy, the bullet that went through the victim's chest did not belong to <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">a 38mm service <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">revolver<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> of <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">an off-duty police officer <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">who was<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> present during the robbery<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">, and <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">who <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">opened fire against the assailant<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">, identified as an Albanian national.<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> V<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">ideo<font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> footage <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">from the store<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">'s CCTV camera also confirmed the autopsy results<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">, showing that the victim fell on the floor injured <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">as the off-duty officer had his back turned toward her <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">while <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">wrestling with the assailant. Following the autopsy results, the 38-year-old officer, who was held in custody, is expected to be released. The <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">suspect<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> is hospitali<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">sed <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">in stable condition <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">with three <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">bullet-induced injuries<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">to the chest <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">area. An <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">accomplice is wanted by police. The woman<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">, shot during the robbery<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">, died as a result of her injuries soon after being rushed <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">to a nearby hospital<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> on Thursday afternoon.
    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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