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Worse, for many years Athens has been a major regional entrepot for fraudulent visas and passports (including lost and stolen American passports). This problem has greatly increased with the opening of the country's northern borders with its Balkan neighbors. Were Greece added to the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, the incentive for passport and other document fraud would obviously skyrocket. In the absence of effective controls by Greek authorities, the result would be a flood of ineligible persons seeking entry into the United States using forged Greek passports.

Note, please, that I am not talking about Greek citizens overstaying their allotted time as tourists or taking employment inconsistent with their status in this country. I am talking about people around the world looking for a gap in our border controls who would find a gaping loophole in Greece were the visa requirement lifted. Surely, the most elemental and necessary standard of law enforcement to justify visa waiver is effective control of passport issuance. Greece has not yet attained this standard.

The Administration's second criterion was Greek adherence to the so-called Schengen regime, the European Union's common frontier and crime-fighting accord. Let me make an important distinction: membership in Schengen is not the same as fulfillment of its standards. It is no secret that Greek entry into Schengen early this year was a political decision of the European Union made despite serious reservations by many law enforcement officials of the other member states. It is no secret these reservations about Greece persist. In January the Italian Government requested a special bilateral summit meeting to address deficiencies in Greek performance and their impact on Italy. The BBC aired a program (in which I took part) on prime-time television questioning whether Greece was ready for Schengen. More recently in Athens, a top government official responsible for public order admitted to me off the record that full adherence to Schengen standards would require the complete closure of the country's northern borders.

For many years Greece was denied entry into Schengen because it could not control the movement of illegal refugees into the European Union due to its proximity to the Middle East, its long coastal frontiers, and its notoriously poor police work. In recent years this problem has increased enormously by huge numbers of Balkan peoples fleeing south across the borders with Albania, the former Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria. For the United States, this is a direct problem only insofar as these persons obtain false passports in the flourishing Greek personal documents market. However, a very real and more serious concern for us is the permeability of Schengen standards in Greece as a medium for international organized crime.

The Schengen regime is a defense structure against the global trade in narcotics, arms, prostitution, money laundering, and so forth. International organized crime groups view Greece as a weak spot in Schengen and have established themselves on Greek soil, not to exploit the modest domestic market but with the entire European Union in mind. This is the nightmare facing law enforcement officials throughout the EU with Greece only a half-hearted member of the regime. By lifting the United States visa requirement we would enter the nightmare and compound the already excessive burden on our law enforcement agencies in dealing with global crime.

More broadly, Schengen is a test of a government's commitment to standards of law enforcement. Many other European countries have met the test and thus met our standards for the Visa Waiver Pilot Program. Greece has not. Mr. Chairman, I strongly believe a third criterion should be added and I am appalled the Administration neglected to do so. The most basic and fundamental requirement of national law enforcement in the world today is the fight against organized terrorism. Greece takes satisfaction in the fact that its domestic terrorist problem is not among the world's worst. That satisfaction has produced a complacency reflected in the worst record on counter-terrorism anywhere on earth over the past quarter century. The salience of this problem for the U.S. Congress is that the primary target of this terrorism is the United States of America and its representatives.