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Monday, 7 August, 2000, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Greece to toughen terrorist fight
Car after attack
Brigadier Saunders was shot as he drove to work
By Paul Wood in Athens

The Greek Government is considering a range of tough new measures to deal with terrorism and reassure the international community that it is on top of the problem.

The move follows the murder in June of Britain's military attache, Brigadier Stephen Saunders.

Special telephone hotlines for the public to give information about terrorism became operational on Monday.

Brigadier Stephen Saunders
Greece pledged to do all it could to catch Brigadier Saunders' killers
Callers will be put through to the Greek National Security Service. They will be able to remain anonymous.

The idea to set up the special hotlines apparently came from British anti-terrorism branch officers, who are working with the Greek authorities to catch the terrorist group November 17 - which murdered Brigadier Saunders.

Proposals are also being floated for new legislation which is expected to be brought forward in the next few months.

The measures include a new witness protection programme, and non-jury trials for terrorist suspects to deal with the problem of intimidation.

Olympic security

The United States in particular has been critical of Greece's failure to apprehend a single member of November 17, despite its 25-year campaign of bombings and assassinations.

Burning car
A 1992 rocket attack on the Greek finance minister
Such criticisms have led to damaging questions about whether security will be good enough to host the Olympics here in 2004.

But American diplomats say Greece has finally agreed to sign a long-delayed accord on co-operation between the two countries' police forces.

They say it is evidence of a new official determination to show that Greece is not soft on terrorism.

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