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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-05-09

Antenna Radio News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English, 09/05/97


  • President Clinton's southern Europe envoy urges Greece and Turkey to move closer toghether.
  • New Democracy MPs comment on a heated dispute about the past.
  • And, Greece sends food to those in need in strife-riven Albania.


The US southern Europe envoy says it's up to Greece and Turkey to improve their relations.

In Athens, a non-commital Carey Cavanaugh discussed Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue with Greek leaders.

Cavanaugh's visit comes as Greek and Turkish experts prepare to compile reports on the issues seaparting their two countries.

After discussing Greek-Turkish relations with Greek alternate foreign minster Giorgos Papandreou, White House envoy Carey Cavanaugh was asked whether a meeting between the Greek and Turkish experts could be the first step toward an eventual dialogue on issues of substance between them.

"I don't know", was his reply. "I suppose so, but it's up to both sides to end up somewhere".

The two Greek and two Turkish experts will send their reports to the European Union mediator.

The Greek government is currently deciding whether the work of the committee members should be conducted through a meeting of the two countries' experts.

Turkey wants a meeting of the Greeks and Turks in mid-May. But Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos seems opposed to a meeting at this point. Greece has thus far said that any meetings should come ONLY if the experts' initial reports find common ground on what the issues between the two countries are. Greece doesn't want Turkey to try to use the committee as a way of putting Greece's sovereign rights in the Aegean on a future negotiating agenda.

After meeting with Cavanaugh, Papandreou said the bi-lateral committee is a positive sign, but that there is still a lot of work to be done.

In a meeting with deputy foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, Cavanaugh discussed the Cyprus issue. The US has repeatedly expressed a desire to help resolve the ongoing Cyprus problem.

In Athens, Cavanaugh also met with New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis.


A day after a heated meeting of Pasok MPs, where the government's decision to go ahead with the Greek-Turkish committee was discussed, MPs were asked about the party's unity.

At that meeting, the prime minister defended the committee, over the objections of MPs concerned that it will lead to Greece negotiating over its sovereign rights in the Aegean.

As we hear in this report, while there are two views about whether or not the committee is a good idea, MPs say that there's no official opposition group to the government within the party.

At the meeting of Pasok MPs, Kostas Simitis said Greece has no intention of negotiating over its sovereign rights with Turkey. He added that the committee will not compromise Greece, but Turkey, which will be called on to account reveal any expansionist designs it has on Greece.

Some in the party disagree, and 32 MPs sent a letter to the prime minister two weeks ago saying as much.

Following the tense atmosphere at Pasok's parliamentary group meeting Wednesday, MPs said Thursday that there are no problems with the party's unity.

Justice minister Evangelos Yiannopouolos was asked whether the 32 MPs constitute an internal opposition.

His reply was that they aren't, they're just various people working out of step".

Deputy interior minister Tassos Mandelis agreed that the 32 aren't an internal opposition. He added that the government will forge ahead to accomplish what the voters have mandated it to do.

Deputy health minister Thodoros Kotsonis agreed, saying "An inner-party opposition would be organised, and hold meetings. I'd call the letter an expression of different views, which is fine in a democractic party. What bothers me is the way they expressed their views. The letter insinuated that the MPs would not support the government".

At the parliamentary group meeting, the prime minister chastised the 32 for their letter, saying there are organisations withing the party for open discussion of views.

MP Fivos Ioannides backed that up. He said the parliamentary group meeting Wednesday was positive, precisely because the prime minister made it clear that people can express their views within the party, through the party's organs.

Despite the claims of unity, the differences over Turkey continue. Education minister Gerasimos Arsenis is one who has expressed reservations over the government's Turkish policy. He says he's always been, and remains, consistent in his views.


The Greek navy held exercises in the Aegean Wednesday. Fourteen ships, helicopters, and airplanes participated in exercise "Lightning".

Defence minster Akis Tsochatzopoulos observed the manoeuvres, a demonstration of Greece's military readiness.

A second exercise was conducted off the coast of Rhodes, within the framework of the Greece-Cyprus joint defence doctrine.


New Democracy MPs commented on the recent exchanges between the ex-king and former prime minister Constantinos Karamanlis.

Karamanlis's archives document that the Karamanlis government asked Constantine in 1976 if he knew of a purported plot by officers loyal to him to overthrow it.

The archives also show that Constantine denied any knowledge of such a plot.

But the matter didn't end there. Constantine issued a statement claiming that Karamanlis and other politicians asked HIM to impose a dictatorship in the 1960s.

Karamanlis called the contentions false. And he went further, suggesting that anyone who believes there's a chance of the monarchy being restored, should understand that what kind of political system Greece is to have has been settled once and for all.

The question is: was Karmanlis's advice directed at pro-royalist MPs in New Democracy?

A number of party MPs commented on the rumoured 1976 coup issue.

Antonis Fousas said, "It hasn't created any problems for the party. It's all history, things that happened 22 years ago. We're dealing with the present and the future now. There's no evidence that any party member has been influenced by the discussion".

MP Evangelos Baskiakos said the question of what kind of government we're to have was settled by the referendum abolishing the monarchy in 1974.

And former MP Kostas Zacharakis added, "I don't know if Karmanlis was admonishing anyone or not, but I can assure you that there's no problem in New Democracy, which stands united".

The conservative Constantinos Karamanlis had already made his mark on the political stage as a prime minister when he called the academic socialist Andreas Papandreou, whose father headed the Centre Union Party, to Greece in 1961. Karamanlis wanted the young Papandreou to set up an economic research institute.

The two men were to find themselves on the same stage for three decades, and often crossed swords. In 1985, then-prime minister Papandreou, who had founded Pasok 1n 1974, withdrew his support for a second Karamanlis presidency at the last minute. The two would meet again in the 90s, when Papandreou was again prime minister, Karamanlis, again president.

Now, another view of their relationship is offered, with the revelation of an exchange of correspondence between them shortly after the colonels had imposed a dictatorship on Greece in 1967. Both men were living in exile.

In April, 1968, Papandreou sent a letter to Karamanlis in Paris, asking that they join together against the military Junta. He requested a meeting. Karamanlis agreed, providing Papandreou acknowledge that the Centre Union had slandered him in the period before the Junta.

Papandreou responded: "As a representative of the Centre Union outside Greece, I express my willingness to meet with you as a first step toward developing a common stand of Greek politicians on an issue of historic significance to Greece".

Karamanlis responded angrily: "I don't understand the meaning of your cable. If it comes of a desire to note responsibilities, you'll allow me to call it an unfortunate act. I see no effort being made here. I won't say I see quite the opposite".

Papandreou's reply to that was: "I'm sorry you think my proposal contained an attack. I didn't, and still stands. I understand your reaction regarding the lack of a desire on the part of a significant section of the political world to respond to initiatives which could lead to a genuine democratic solution for Greece, without the people and the nation making great sacrifices".

Karamanlis studied Papandroeu throughout his career. In a letter to Panayiotis Kanellopoulpos, he calls Papandreou "a problem, but also estimable. You can't ignore him or promote him, because he's like a red flag to those whose support is indispensable to the restoration of democracy. It would be nice if he recognised that and adapted his role and behaviour accordingly. But the issue needs attention, because in politics 1 and 1 don't always equal 2. Sometimes different forces cancel each other out".


New Democracy leader Constantinos Karamanlis dominated Greek politics for three decades. Recently-disclosed letters from the past shed light on his often stormy relations with another towering political figure, Andreas Papandreou.

One was a conservative and the other a socialist. Through the decades, their paths crossed often.


Mikis Theodorakis is out of the hospital. The famous composer underwent several days of tests after cutting short a concert tour last week because of breathing difficulties.

Leaving the Athens medical centre, Theodorakis said he was glad the tests showed nothing's seriously wrong with him, just exhaustion and an old internal haemmorage.

"I'm just worn out", he told the press. "The doctors have told me not to work for six months.

The composer expressed his gratitude to the care he received from his doctors, and to all the support he's received from the public.


Vaccines enabling doctors to stop breast cancer from spreading have been used successfully in lab experiments.

And a new method of diagnosing prostate cancer is helping doctors combat that disease.

That was the good news to emerge from the Balkan and Greek Endocrinology Conferences in Thessaloniki.

The vaccines to arrest breast cancer have been experimented with in Britain.

The diagnostic method which can help doctors prevent the spread of prostate cancer is being developed in Canada.

Doctors say it will be several years before either method can be used on a large scale, but add the first successful steps are very encouraging.


There was welcome relief for people in two southern Albanian towns. Two thousand parcels of food from Greece arrived in Tepeleni and Memali-eh.

Two thousand families in need received 45 tonnes of food, courtesy of the Greek Telecommunications Organisation.

The shipment was delivered by Greek European deputies.

Each parcel of 16 kilos contains basic foodstuffs, things like milk, rice, and pasta.

This grateful woman said, "There are seven of us in our family, and we have nothing to eat".

There will be Greek aid missions to other southern towns. Greek aid represetative Kostas PapadigenOpoulos says a Greek-British shipment is going to Korytsa, and that Vlore, Saranda, Argyrokastor and other cities will also be aid recipients.

Local rebels in southern Albania, demanding the resignation of president Sali Berisha, will provide protection to the aid shipments until the international peacekeeping force can guarantee their safety from marauding bandits.


And finally, the Athens Chamber of Commerce gave special recognition to Greek companies that distinguished themselves last year.

Dairy giant FAGE honoured for its social contribution. FAGE provided school children with insurance for three years.

Theodoros Vassilakis, Elevtherios Mouzakis, and Giorgos Apostolopoulos, president of the Athens Medical Centre, shared the "self-made businessman" award.

Apostolopoulos said the award gives his business an added encouragement to keep on providing quality health care, in Greece and all over Europe.

Famar and Pallis got the "Long Tradition" honour. Company president Giorgos Pallis joked that he told his 102-year-old mother should be the one to pick up the award. She said, "Next time".

Export companies of the year are Alouman, Kourtakis, Mevgal, Plexaco, and Viochrom.

Argo was cited for the quality of its products.

Finance minister Yiannos Papantoniou, who presented the awards, urged Greek businessmen to continue to make investments, to help Greece's economy do well in Europe.

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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