05 November, 2005
The Chinese media on Friday hailed the commencement of cooperation between Greece and China on Olympic Games security, following a memorandum of cooperation signed on Thursday afternoon between Greek Police (ELAS) chief Lt. Gen. George Angelakos and Beijing's chief of police Zhenchuan Ma, in the framework of a five-day visit by a Greek delegation to China, headed by public order minister George Voulgarakis.
Beijing will host the 2008 Olympic Games, following the successful 2004 Games organised by Athens.
The memorandum concerns the transfer of experience and knowhow acquired by the Greek police during the planning and implementation of the Olympics Security Model.
Voulgarakis, speaking on Chinese state television on Thusday, said the memorandum marked the commencement of an open cooperation between the two countries, adding that the cooperation, on the basis of the accord, would be made more specific during several specialised meetings between the two sides, aiming at Beijing's organising safe Games and winning the confidence of both athletes and visitors.
Replying to press questions, Voulgarakis said the cooperation included training and utilisation of the human potential, stressing that the precise content of the blaeral cooperation would be determined along the way.
China, he said, was taking an important step of cooperation with a country that had organised exceptionally safe Games.
Voulgarakis further said that this cooperation was a great honour for Greece, as both were countries with a great history and civilisation.
The Greek minister also lauded the progress made by Beijing in its preparations for the 2008 Games with respect to security.
China is a safe country, but as Olympics organisers it has to deal with threats and enemies against all the other nations that will be taking part in the Games, he explained, adding that Greece had planned its own Games on the basis of that precept, acquiring a unique experience that it would share with China.
The memorandum falls within the framework of cooperation between Chinese authorities and organisers and Greek authorities and police who are transferring the experience and know-how they gained from staging the 2004 Olympics.
According to the agreement, any issues that arise as Beijing prepares for the 2008 Olympics will be resolved through the cooperation of Beijing's Coordinating Centre for Olympic Games Security and the Greek ministry's Security Studies Centre.
After the signing, Voulgarakis said that "the cooperation between Greece and China on Olympic Games security does not only concern our excellent bilateral relations, but is mainly associated with the two countries' cultural heritage."
He added that "Greece's objective, as the birthplace of the Olympic Games, is to contribute as much as possible so that the Beijing Olympiad be held in a festive and safe environment. The People's Republic of China is proceeding at a fast and steady pace. I am certain that in 2008 we will experience one of the most successful, and of course grand, Olympic Games in history."