Viewing cable 08ATHENS1089
Title: CODEL COSTELLO - GREECE (AUGUST 2-3)

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08ATHENS10892008-07-30 13:15:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Athens
VZCZCXRO9415
OO RUEHHM
DE RUEHTH #1089/01 2121315
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 301315Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2259
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 0042
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 0074
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0001
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 0013
INFO RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN PRIORITY 0061
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 0025
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ATHENS 001089 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE ALSO FOR H AND RM/F/DFS/FO/AA/CAA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AFIN GR OREP
SUBJECT: CODEL COSTELLO - GREECE (AUGUST 2-3) 
 
¶1.  Embassy Athens warmly welcomes the visit of CODEL 
Costello to Souda Bay, Crete, Greece, on August 2-3. 
 
¶2.  Embassy Athens Administrative POC for CODEL Costello is: 
Bill Murad, Public Diplomacy Officer 
Office:  30-210-720-2298 
Cell:   30-6948-601-961 
Home:   30-210-725-5605 
Fax:   30-210-720-2858 
Email:  MuradEW at state.gov, Eshel7 at aol.com 
CODEL schedule information is being provided via e-mail. 
 
¶3.  The Embassy has confirmed reservation at 
Perle Hotel 
Stavros Akrotiriou 
Chania, Crete 
Phone:  30-282-103-9400 
Fax:   30-282-103-9650 
Single: 85 euro ($133.86) 
Double: 110 euro ($173.23) 
Rates include breakfast and are not changeable after 
Thursday, July 31, 2008.  Billing will be direct through 
Embassy and charged to fund cite. 
 
The Embassy will provide expeditor assistance upon arrival 
and departure. 
 
¶4.  VISA Requirements: Diplomatic and official passport 
holders must have Greek diplomatic visas, a valid Schengen 
visa or diplomatic ID from any other Schengen country, in 
addition to their passport, in order to enter Greece.  The 
Embassy will be unable to obtain planeside visas for USG 
employees arriving in Greece without proper documentation. 
Holders of tourist passports do not require visas for a stay 
up to 90 days only. 
 
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THREAT ASSESSMENT 
----------------- 
 
¶5. Embassy Athens is designated "high" for indigenous 
terrorism.  In the past, local Greek terrorist groups have 
targeted prominent Greeks as well as certain non-Greek 
Officials, including Americans.  We believe that the threat 
to official US Government personnel on short-term assignments 
to Greece or visiting for tourism is relatively low.  The 
indigenous groups historically have engaged in extensive 
operational surveillance over long periods of time.  In 2003 
and again in 2004, the Greek Government made significant 
progress to combat domestic terrorism by successfully 
convicting the leader and key hit men of the November 17 
terrorist organization and of the ELA.  17N was responsible 
for assassinating prominent Greeks and five members of the US 
Mission over the course of its 30-year history.  Convicted 
ELA members were responsible for several bombings, attempted 
murders and were involved in at least one assassination. 
While these convictions likely impacted on the operational 
capabilities of 17N and ELA, it is too soon to assess whether 
the threat from domestic terrorism is completely eliminated. 
There have been several attacks against Greek police over the 
last year, including the December 2004 assassination of a 
special police guard in front of the residence of the British 
military attache.  We urge vigilance and caution, as the 
worldwide threterrorist groups againse protestst protests or demonstrations could occur at any time; 
unwitting observers or bystanders might be identified, to 
their disadvantage, as Americans.  RSO recommends that 
official U.S. travelers in Greece remain alert when moving 
about in public places and avoid certain places where 
demonstrators frequently congregate.  These places include 
the Polytechnical University area, located on 28 October 
(Patission) Street between the National Archeological Museum 
and Omonia Square; Exarchion Square, located near Kolonaki; 
Omonia and Syntagma Squares, which are often used as launch 
sites for large demonstrations; and Mavili Square, located 
near the U.S. Embassy.  Visitors should keep abreast of ews 
about large demonstrations and avoid thes areas and metro 
stops. 
 
ATHENS 00001089  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
Crime is rated "medium" in Greece.  For TDY visitors, pick 
pocketing and purse snatching are the most common crimes. 
Taxis are generally safe though metered cabs are recommended. 
 Taxis too will often pick up more than one passenger unless 
prior arrangements are made.  Crimes of opportunity ) 
thefts, break-ins, and occasional scams ) are on the rise. 
Travelers should be especially cautious with wallets, purses, 
and parcels when traveling on crowded streets, public buses, 
trolleys, and/or subways.  There have been several instances 
of motorcyclists approaching cars stuck in traffic, reaching 
through open windows or smashing closed ones, and stealing 
whatever is within reach.  We have also recently learned of a 
new method in which motorcyclists open the trunk of a vehicle 
and remove the contents.  Security recommends keeping purses, 
parcels, handbags, etc. out of sight under the seat or on the 
floor of the car.  Windows should be kept closed and doors 
locked.  Pedestrians may also be confronted by beggars and 
other street people who may attempt to divert attention, then 
steal unprotected valuables ) either by pick pocketing or 
snatch-and-grab techniques.  Women are generally safe from 
violent crime in Greece.  Men are aggressive by American 
standards however when pursuing women. 
 
SPECKHARD