04 October, 2003
Commenting on a report by the U.S. State Department that listed the Greek terrorist groups ''November 17'' and ''Revolutionary Cells'' among 25 extant terrorist organizations worldwide, Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas on Friday said it was probably not up-to-date and called it the result of ''bureaucratic thinking''.
He also noted the positive comments made by U.S. officials about the high level of cooperation between Greece and the U.S. in combatting terrorism and comments by U.S. Ambassador to Greece Thomas Miller that ''did not move in the same direction''.
A high-profile trial of 19 suspected members of ''November 17'' - including the group's alleged leader and main operatives - is currently underway in Greece, while police believe that they have captured and brought to justice the main body of the terror band.
Regarding a State Department background note on the Greek media, the spokesman said the report was a ''word for word repetition of last year's comments'' and stressed that its authors should take more care in order to reflect reality as it really was and not how they thought it was.
The report refered to the Greek state TV, saying it was not fully independent, and Protopapas stressed that the writers of the report were ''unaware of the situation in Europe''.
''Throughout Europe there is strong state television and great steps in objective reporting have been made. In Europe and in Greece we have and will have strong state television, regardless of whether the Americans realize this or not,'' he said.
Opposition parties react to U.S. State Department terrorism report on Greece: Commenting on a report by the U.S. State Department that listed the Greek terrorist groups ''November 17'' and ''Revolutionary Cells'' among 25 existing terrorist organizations worldwide, main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said that Greece is doing what is necessary for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games to be safe.
''For this reason Greece is cooperating closely with countries that have experience on confronting terrorism,'' he said, while commenting on the statement made about the Greek mass media he noted that the Greek constitution clearly defines the framework of their operation.
The Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) party cadre Nikos Houdis stressed that the U.S. report that raises the issue of terrorism again is an attempt to escalate U.S. intervention in Greece's political developments.
Source: Athens News Agency