06 October, 2003
Foreign Minister George Papandreou stressed in statements to the press that the need for security in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games should not undermine the democratic function of society.
Speaking to the ''Ta Nea'' newspaper, Papandreou underlined that after Sept. 11 a phobia has been created and there is a ''psychosis'' with security measures, adding, however, that ''we are an open society. We take all the necessary (security) measures, we are open to suggestions, ideas and for cooperation with other countries on the issue, but I believe that Greece is called on to balance two (issues)''.
He went further to explain that the balance should be struck between the necessity for conditions of security, without, however, going to the other extreme that is to undermine the openness of society.
Commenting on recent foreign press reports that criticized Greece on the issue of the Olympic Games' security, he said that there were similar reports every time the Games took place, no matter where they took place.
''It would be a mistaken analysis to believe that some centers have placed Greece in their sights and are shooting at us,'' Papandreou said.
He called for calm and for the promotion of all those things that were done in the security sector, adding ''we have spent a lot of money of the Greek people on this sector. We also have a close cooperation with the best people internationally on the sector of security. We are doing serious work and this we have to pro-mote, especially abroad''.
Source: Athens News Agency