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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-05-16

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

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English, 16/05/97


  • Giorgios Rallis sparks discussion, comparing Kostas Simitis favourably with Andreas Papandreou.
  • A new drug against cancer.
  • And, Aek knots the championship series...just.


Former prime minister and New Democracy member Giorgios Rallis says that if Pasok's policies in the 1980s had been the same as those the Pasok government is following today, then Greece would now be among the most prosperous nations.

There were a variety of reactions from within New Democracy to that remark, made at the launch of the 12th volume of the archives of Constantinos Karamanlis.

The 12th volume of the New Democracy founder's archives deal extensively with Karamanlis's often difficult relationship with prime minister Andreas Papandreou in the 1980s, because of the latter's policies.

Speaking at the book launch, Georgios Rallis said that if in the 1980s Andreas Papandreou, with all his considerable abilities, had followed the policies his Pasok successor Kostas Simitis is following today, then Greece would be among the most developed and prosperous nations.

Rallis's apparently favourable words for Simitis were welcomed by the government spokesman. Dimitris Reppas said he's glad the government's policies are meeting with success, and are supported outside Pasok ranks.

But Rallis's comments were not so well-received within New Democracy ranks.

Leading party MP Gianni Kefaloyiannis says he doesn't think the press reported what Rallis said correctly. And he tried to dismiss it's importance. "Any opinion held by Giorgos Rallis has value for Rallis himself", he said. "I don't think any opinion held by an old party member, especially one not active politically, has any more than historical value".

Associates of the current leader of New Democracy, Kostas Karamanlis, agree that Simitis is better than Papandreou. But they also add that Simitis is worse than any New Democracy government. MP Savvas Tsitouides says "Georgos Rallis said that Simitis is making an effort. It's not necessary for former New Democracy leaders to be right about everything or agree about everything. Anyway, let's ask the Greek people decide if the Simitis government is being successful or not".

MP Marietta Giannakou-Kousikou adds, "I think Girgos Rallis wanted to show the great difference that exists between the economic policies Pasok followed in the 80s and today. Nothing more".

Deputy Antonis Foussas believes that Simitis bears great responsibility for what the Pasok governments did in the 1980s, since he was a member of those govenrments. He adds that all the Pasok governments have been wrong in their approach to the European Union.

The Karamanlis archives led to a debate between Karamanlis and former king Constantine last week. At the end of an exchange over historical issues, karamanlis said that the type of political system the country has, has been decided once and for all.

Constantine replied that only the Greek people can decide that.

Some observers saw Karamanlis's comments as an attack on pro-royalist MPs in New Democracy. But royalists insist they will not leave the party. MP Thanassis Davakis says that those who like, or liked the monarchy, clearly have a place in the party.


Pasok MPs have been angered by Karamanlis's negative references to Andreas Papandreou in his archives.

They boycotted the launch of the 12th volume, saying that Karamanlis is trying to retrospectively strengthen his historical profile.

Constantinos Karamanlis reportedly told close aides that he can't understand why everyone's making such a fuss over his archives, which have brought angry reactions from all quarters.

Pasok MPs looked on last week as Karamanlis and former king Constantine exchanged angry statements on politic events in the 60s and 70s.

But the latest archive releases deal with Pasok founder Andreas Papandreou. Karamanlis calls him a con artist for withdrawing his support for a second Karamanlis presidency in 1985. And accuses Papandreou of being disingenuous as prime minister.

Responding, Pasok MP Moschos GikOnoglou says Karamanlis is trying to raise himself higher in people's eyes. But, he says a person can only gain the people's esteem through his deeds, which Papandreou did. No number of Karamanlis can rewrite Papandreou's history, he adds.

Levteris Verlivakis says of Karamanlis's archives: "the point is to write history, not REwrite it".

Giannis HaralAbous says Karamanlis played the safe political game for 50 years. He adds that Karamanlis's record in the years before the military coup in 1967 remains tarnished, and that it belongs to the darkest days in Greek politics.

Papandreou's son, alternate defence minister Giorgos Papandreou, also defends his father. He says Andreas Papandreou always fought for civil liberties and democracy, and always found Karamanlis standing in his way.

Andreas Papandreou's widow, Dimitra Liani Papandreou was asked about Karamanlis's claims about her husband. She said her late husband's been judged by the people, who loved and followed him throughout his career. Now, she added, all those who loved him are obliged to defend his memory from falsification and hypocrisy.


The defence minister has reiterated that Greece's positions on dialogue with Turkey are clear and firm. Akis Tsochatzopoulos spoke at the meeting of a committee, composed mainly of Pasok members, which suggests foreign policy initiatives.

Tsochatzopoulos says Greece knows on what terms it would enter into ANY dialogue with Turkey. "No one can object to talks", he explained, "what's important is to let everyone know what can be discussed, and what can't, so you don't end up with negative consequences".

Greece and Turkey have each appointed two experts to list bilateral diffences. Pasok says the findings will not be binding, and that Greece will not accept Turkey raising any of Greece's sovereign rights as bilateral issues to be resolved.

Ansastasios Peponis, a former Pasok cabinet member, says Turkey's goals have stayed the same: it wants to play a leading in the region, a role which will be recognised by the West.


15 people were injured in a blast at a base in Albania Thursday morning. Six of the worst injured are being treated in Athens.

The explosion occurred at Pitsari, an abandoned military base 10 kilometers from the southern- Albanian rebel stronghold of Argyrokastro.

50 Albanian soldiers had gone to clean up the base - clear away the shells strewn about and untended, and make repairs.

One soldier dropped a shell from a height of two metres, and disaster struck: the shell exploded, setting off a number of other shells, some weighing as much as 60 pounds.

The area briefly became an inferno. The three buses the troops had come in were burnt beyond recognition.

6 of the 15 soldiers injured received extensive third degree burns, and were evacuated first to Iannena, then to Athens.


The problems of investigating war crimes and prosecuting war criminals was the main focus of a conference that just ended.

The meeting of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War, was held in Athens.

Participants dwelled largely on the problems involved in implementing the Geneva Convention and similar agreements bearing on the prosecution of war criminals.

Conference chair Athanassios Kossioris said the issue is of considerable importance to Greece, which has been a victim of war crimes in the past.

The Society is based in Brussels and has 1600 members worldwide.


For the first time ever, government MPs asked for a vote on a bill in parliament not to be conducted secretly, but out in the open.

The request resulted in the interior minisiter withdrawing legislation concerning the permanent employment status of local council sanitation employees.

With Alekos Papadopoulos withdrawing the bill, something at least 15 Pasok MPs demanded, the matter will now be reviewed by an all-party committee.

That means that the sanitation workers' strike in Athens will continue until at least next Monday, when the committee meets.

Pasok MPs opposed to the bill say it goes against an earlier Pasok law on public hiring, and add that parliament shouldn't pass legislation under the pressure of a strike.

New Democracy MPs, who said they would only vote "present" if there were balloting, called the legislative setback an unprecedented disaster for the government.


Marie Chantal-Miller, daughter in law of ex-Greek king Constantine, is expected to visit Greece next winter, as part of her efforts to set up a charity organisation for children.

Marie Chantal-Miller also wants to show her daughter her homeland, Greece.

The visit to Greece would follow the formal launch of the organisation she and her husband Paul want to found in New York next autumn.

The charity organisation would help poor children in Greece in need of medical attention, footing the bill for their treatment in the US. It would also have an educational role. For example, it may pay for Greek children from the former Soviet Union, now living in Greece, to learn better Greek.


Where better a place to find a treasure than in a bank? Hundreds of ancient coins have been sitting unclaimed in the Ionian Bank since 1957, when their owner put them in a safe deposit box in the Athens bank.

The existence of the coins was made known by trade unionists through their in-house newspaper. Diamantis Filippopoulos says there's speculation that the treasure may have been the product of illegal activities by its owner.

Antenna sources say the stash may be worth over 200 million dollars. The most dazzling rumours put the value at three times that.

The Bank proposes that any of the coins deemed to have cultural value be put on display in the mint museum soon to open in Athens, or the currency museum in Corfu.


A Greek doctor has come up with a drug that could be highly effective in fighting cancer.

Professor Nikolaou's discovery has been given extensive coverage in the latest issue of the science magazine "Nature".

Nikolaou explains that in recent years he and his assistants have created complex substances to fight cancer.

Like the powerful molecule "calichomassi"; "taxole", one of the latest and most efficient anti- cancer drugs; and "vrevetoxin", one of the strongest toxic substances found in the sea.

Nikolaou, director of the Scripps Research Institute in California, works with natural substances.

His new drug against cancer is made of a bacterium. Researchers call it a "chemical cell killer", because it is able to eliminate cancerous cells which resist other treatments.

The US National Cancer Institute has shown serious interest in investing in research on the new drug.


Turning to pro-basketball, Aek levelled its Greek championship series against Olymiakos at one, but just barely.

Regulation ends with Olympiakos guard David Rivers missing what could've been the game-winner with the score knotted at 71 with a second to play.

With two seconds left in overtime, Aek's Bill Edwards hits what prove to be the game winning free throws, carrying his team to a 78-77 victory.

Rivers is the game's high scorer, with 25 points. Edwards leads Aek with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

Olympiakos hosts game three of the best-of-five series Sunday.


How to play the Bouzouki, a popular folk instrument, is being being taught at the School of Folk Music run by composer Thanassis Polykandriotis.

Seventy school kids are learning to play bouzouki, and other traditional instruments, like the tzourAs and the baglamAs.

Every two months, the school runs special seminars, where old "rebetes", musicians who play rebetica music, talk about the origins of their instruments, how the're played, and what the future has in store for them.

Polykandriotis says, "We try to take up the threads from the old legendary musicians, and hand them on to the younger generation of bouzouki players".

After a weekend seminar, the students gave a short concert, to show what they've learned.

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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