Brussels: European nations were sharply
divided on Thursday over the need to install full-body scanners at
European airports, with some EU members playing down the need
for beefed-up security measures.
Italy today joined the United States, Britain and the
Netherlands as nations who have announced plans to install the
scanners following a Nigerian man`s reported attempt to blow
up a US airliner flying from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas
Washington is seeking enhanced security measures on all
trans-Atlantic flights heading for the United States. That`s a
huge task, however, since European airports carry thousands of
passengers on over 800 flights a day across the lucrative
North Atlantic route.
But as EU aviation security experts met today on the
subject of scanners, Belgium`s secretary of state for
transport, Etiennne Schouppe, described such enhanced measures
as "excessive," saying security requirements at European
airports are already "strict enough."
Spain too has expressed skepticism about the need for
body scanners, and the German and French governments remain
German Interior Ministry spokesman Stefan Paris said EU
rules on flight safety need to be changed first before
scanners can be used.