A terrorist attack during this summer’s Athens Olympics is unlikely because the city is on high alert, its mayor said on Thursday.
“Of course, no one can foresee the future, but I believe that when cities and countries are on red alert, the possibilities of a terrorist attack are much less than when they calm down,” mayor Dora Bakoyanni told reporters.
Games organizers have drafted a record 650 million euro ($770 million) security plan. More than 45,000 security staff will patrol the city and more than 2,000 cameras will monitor traffic and crowds.
More than half of the country’s security personnel will be on games duty, and NATO will help with air and sea patrols during the August 13-19 Olympics.
But organizers continue to face a barrage of media reports questioning security arrangements and suggesting some athletes might pull out because of fears for their safety.
Bakoyanni however insisted that with the Greek capital the focus of world attention during the Games, an attack was extremely unlikely.
“In New York, when everybody waited and was prepared for the millennium, nothing happened. It happened unfortunately when things calmed down.” “For me, it is very important to give a very clear message to the world: we are doing everything which is humanly possible to have a maximum of security,” she said.
“The Olympics bring the world together... so if we start having the idea that somebody is not going to take part in it, it’s just like giving up.”