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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-05-02

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From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English, 02/05/97


  • A concert in Germany, to bridge Greek-Turkish differences.
  • Athens flowery May Day message.
  • And, Olympiakos draws first blood in the semi- finals.


Germany's foreign minister says that Greece and Turkey must be brought closer together. Klaus Kinkel adds that his country can play a role in bridging the gulf between the two countries.

Hosting a concert by Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, and Turkish composer Jules Livanelli Kinkel said that perhaps music can help achieve a rapprochement that politics cannot.

Klaus Kinkel brought Theodorakis and Livanelli together in Bonn, in the hope that he might thus help bring their countries - Greece and Turkey - toghether as well.

The two distinguised composers put their musical genius at the service of achieving understanding between their nations.

Theodorakis said "We have no illusions. We don't believe we'll change the world with songs. We just want to sensitise people, to make them see that we CAN work together".

200 Germans, Greeks and Turks attended the event organised by Kinkel.

"Greece and Turkey should get closer to each other", he said, talking about why he'd sponsored the event. He added, "Their problems must be surmounted. When I say that I'm intervening toward that end, I don't mean I'm INTERFERING in their affairs. I'm just saying that Germany can help things move forward. And when that's not possible through politics, it may be possible through culture, which is why I held this event tonight".

In Bonn, music was used as a way of getting a political message across: that the two countries should try to work out their problems.

Theodorakis says that dialogue with a nation you have problems with doesn't necessarily mean treason, compromise, or giving up your territorial rights.


Greece has repeatedly expressed its desire for good relations with Turkey. But Greece and the European Union are asking Turkey to agree to refrain from threats of violence against Greece, and to respect Greece's sovereign rights before Turkey can have access to EU funds.

Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos has agreed to the establishment of two expert committees to examine the catalogue of Greek- Turkish differences. But the committees will have no negotiating powers.

One Turkish newspaper called the committees quote "a very small step for the improvement of Greek- Turkish relations".

And Greek opposition paries, New Democracy and the Democratic Social Movement, thinkg the committees mark a slide into dialogue with Turkey over Greece's sovereign rights.

Hurriyet, a paper close to foreign minister Tansu Ciller expressed disapproval of the EU's refusal to release funds to Turkey at this week's EU- Turkey Association Council.

"Heavy", was the term Hurriyet used to characterise the EU's insistence that Turkey forswear the use of violence and agree to take any claims it wants to make on Greek territorial or other sovereign rights, to the international court.


Albanian criminals fired on a Greek coast guard boat in Corfu for the second time this week. Smugglers fatally wounded a Greek coast guard officer Tuesday.

On Thursday morning, a Greek patrol boat spotted a small speedboat with Albanians on board. The Albanians opened fire, and made a fast get away to Albania.

The coast guard thinks it was the same boat used to smuggle guns and drugs into Greece two days ago, when the fatal shooting occurred.

Local residents say they see the craft in their waters often.


The first of May is May Day, a day which is associated with spring, and in many countries is a workers' holiday, an official strike day as it were.

Trade union members held their annual rallies around the country, but with the weather redolent of anything but spring, turnout was light.

In Athens, the rain kept people away from the general workers' union rally. A number of programmed rally speeches and concerts were cancelled because of the inclement weather.

Union leaders said their aim is to redivide the national income in favour of working people, and to bolster the nation's social security insurance programmes.

Pasok secretary Kostas Skandalides and Left Coalition leader Nikos Konstantopoulos expressed regret at the decision of communist party unionists to hold a separate rally.

The communist party did so to express its disapproval of the dialogue the government and union leaders are holding over economic policy.

May Day rallies and marches were also held in a number of cities, including Thessaloniki, Piraeus, and Patra.


\ The city of Athens used the spring theme of May Day to show how much it wants to host the 2004 summer Olympics.

Thousands of spring flowers were used to make a gigantic flower, and a representation of the Athens 2004 logo... a virtual carpet of petals at Panathinaikos stadium, site of the first modern Olympics.

And this year's event is going to become a tradition.

Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos said, "We're sending a floral message of festivity to the world".

Athens is among the finalists in the 2004 Olympic bid. The winner will be announced in September.


In pro basketball, Olympiakos and Peristeri locked horns in game one of their best-of-five semi-final bout.

And home team Olympiakos comes up with the win. But it isn't easy for the European champs.

At least not as easy at looks at first. Olympiakos runs out to an 11-2 edge, only to see Peristeri come back to take an 18-15 lead. Olymiakos see-saws back to take a two-point advantage into the half.

Things go better for the home team after the break. Olympiakos holds a 7 to 10 point lead throughout most of the second half, and goes on to win it 68- 57.

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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