ATHENS — International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch said on Monday that Greece was taking the right measures to combat terrorism ahead of the 2004 Games in Athens.

Greece has come under increased international pressure from its western allies to step up its anti-terrorism efforts after a British diplomat was killed in Athens by urban guerrillas last month.

‘[Terrorism] is an issue for Athens and all the organising committees of the Olympic Games,’ Samaranch told Reuters. ‘I think the government is taking the right measures to solve this problem.’

Samaranch, who was in Athens for the inauguration of an Olympic truce centre, said he had met Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and was satisfied with his responses over security issues.

Britain’s military attache to Athens, Brigadier Stephen Saunders, was assassinated on June 8 by a group claiming its 23rd victim in 25 years. The killing prompted renewed pressure on Greece, especially in view of the Games.

The IOC warned Greece in April that it should step up its efforts to organise the Olympic Games after delays in key sectors and Simitis said earlier this month preparations were in ‘a state of emergency’ after the IOC warning.

Greece, which is trying to play down commercialism in the Olympic Games, hopes the truce centre which was inspired by a peace pact among nations competing in the ancient Games, will help resolve international conflicts.


Source: SOCOG