More than 300 CIA agents and private security personnel as well as 3,000 Greek police officers are expected to participate in the draconian security measures which will be deployed during the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama in Athens on November 15-16, a police source said on Wednesday.
According to the senior police official, the final security plan will be completed at the end of the week, when American authorities are expected to declare the details of those who will participate in the massive security operation, along with their weapons, vehicles and any other equipment they might use.
U.S. agents along with the competent Greek authorities are checking thoroughly the areas, buildings and routes which will be used during Obama’s visit, and will gradually be followed by the operational teams that will accompany the U.S. President everywhere.
The same official said roads will be closed off half an hour before Obama’s car is due to pass, while snipers and undercover policemen will be stationed in various locations. Secret services are also inspecting Philopappos Hill and the surrounding area where Obama is set to give his speech in public on November 16.
Speaking about the imminent visit on TV channel SKAI, Alternate Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Toskas said police will face many challenges next week as Obama’s visit almost coincides with the anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic uprising, but expressed his belief that things will go well.
Asked whether he will request people to avoid the center of Athens during the visit, he said he is not asking for this and added: “I invite all citizens and all those who plan to protest, within the limits permitted by our laws and democracy, to do what they want in this context, while respecting the lives of other citizens: Respecting the laws, the existing rules and […] the lives of other citizens.”
He said demonstrations have already been announced to the police.