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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-07-15

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Public order minister and British interior minister hold talks despite bomb threat

  • [01] Public order minister and British interior minister hold talks despite bomb threat

    LONDON (ANA/L. Tsirigotakis) - Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis's talks with British Interior Minister Charles Clarke in London on Thursday developed into a hectic process after a phone call claiming that a bomb had been planted in the building housing the interior ministry triggered a pre-emptive alarm and the two ministers moved from one office to another for security reasons and to conclude their talks.

    Welcoming Voulgarakis, the British minister thanked him for his contribution to the conference held in Brussels on Wednesday, in which issues concerning security and the handling of terrorism were discussed.

    Voulgarakis conveyed the solidarity of the Greek government to the British people over the great tragedy they faced with the terrorist attacks in London last week during his talks with Clarke.

    Talks between the two ministers focused on the priorities of the European Union's British presidency, as well as on bilateral cooperation on security issues.

    "The British presidency has set a series of interesting issues. It has an interesting agenda and, evidently, the handling of terrorism is an issue which shall have a leading role during the British presidency. We also discussed issues of bilateral cooperation, which we have developed in past years and we aspire to develop it even more in the coming years. We discussed issues concerning organised crime, immigration, the granting of asylum and the exchange of information, as well as joint action issues in the framework of the European Union," Voulgarakis said.

    Earlier in the day, Voulgarakis met George Psaradakis, the Greek driver of the bus involved in the terrorist attacks, and gave him a small silver wreath as a symbolic gesture.

    "You made us proud," Voulgarakis told the driver, who replied "I am pleased that you feel that way. I did my duty and I am glad that I also honoured Greece."

    Psaradakis then gave the minister a description of the dramatic moments he experienced immediately after the blast which reduced the bus to wreckage.

    "The sight was terrible. I thought I was standing before a slaughterhouse, but I did not loose my calm and I tried to help my passengers. I feel lucky that I survived. It was a miracle and I attribute it to the Virgin Mary. I have her icon beside me in the bus when I am driving," he said.

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