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25 November, 2002
A government counter-terrorism exercise to prepare for the Athens 2004 Olympics ended successfully on Sunday with players handling a mock airline hijacking at the capital's international airport and a pretend bomb attack against a floating hotel in Piraeus.
''We have demonstrated that when we make the right preparations, when we act with precision, when we handle all contingencies in an incident in the right way, then we emerge victorious,'' Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis told reporters.
Taking part in the three-day ''Rainbow 2002'' exercise to offer practice in terrorist attacks were more than 1,800 people including members of the police, fire brigade, coast guard, secret services, ambulance service, civil aviation authority, and Olympic Airways.
Hired were extras who played aircraft passengers and guests at the floating hotel, for which a ship was used in port.
The exercise was based on a British model, adapted to local Greek features. Officers from Scotland Yard helped to design and prepare the trial.
''This exercise was the product of at least a year's worth of preparations with British officers from Scotland Yard,' Chrysohoidis said.
''I think that the exercise is one step forward for an even more professional Greek police force, for even better preparation ahead of the Olympics, preparation for the police and other authorities taking part in security for the games,'' he added.
Source: Athens News Agency