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23 July, 2001
The Greek foreign ministry on Saturday categorically denied allegations by the Italian embassy in Greece that Greeks or individuals of other nationalities were armed or carried dangerous materials aboard Greek ships that reached the port of Ancona, Italy on Thursday.
Italian authorities did not allow scores of protesters headed for the G8 conference, taking place in Genoa, to disembark in Ancona, claiming that they possessed dangerous materials and were armed. On Friday the Italian embassy issued a press release claiming that necessary checks for arms and other dangerous materials were not conducted adequately by Greek authorities at the port of Patra.
"We deny in the most categorical way as fully baseless the claims of the Italian embassy regarding the presence on Greek ships - that reached the port of Ancona - of Greeks or individuals of other nationalities protesters supplied with weapons and dangerous materials," foreign ministry spokesman Dimitris Beglitis said in a press release issued on Saturday.
He added that the ministry categorically denied all claims that there was "absence of checks and/or preventive controls by the Greek authorities".
"Despite the request of the Greek authorities to their Italian counterparts to submit evidence regarding the aforementioned allegations, the Italian authorities did not submit absolutely anything," Beglitis noted.
"We are requesting once more that evidence is submitted. In the event that this is not done, it will be apparent that this was a blatant and fabricated inaccuracy, which raises questions over its purpose," he concluded.
Source: Athens News Agency