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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-05-20

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

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English, 20/05/97


  • Kostas Karamanlis speaks in a parliamentary debate between party leaders for the first time as head of New Democracy.
  • A concert in Cyprus under protests and heavy security.
  • And, the ecumenical patriarch in Milan.


A Greek and a Turkish musician held a concert in Cyprus's neutral zone Monday night. Sakis Rouvas and Bourak Koot said their intention was to bring the Greek-Cypriots and the Turkish-Cypriots closer together.

The Cypriot government approved the concert, organised by the US and the UN.

But many Greek-Cypriots say the event was an affront to all those who lost loved ones during the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island, which also turned thousands of Greek-Cypriots into refugees.


Greece's foreign minister reiterated Greece's opposition to Israel settling the occupied Palestinain territories.

Theodoros Panagalos met with Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat in Gaza.

The agreements signed by Palestine and Israel have been all but turned into dead letters, because of the Israeli settling of Palestinian lands.

Pangalos sided with the Palestinians, saying that when we sign an agreement, we should honour it. Greece, he added, condemns the colonisation of the occupied territories.

Arafat said he will never forget the support Greece has shown for the Palestinian people in difficult times. He called his meeting with Pangalos especially positive and constructive.

Pangalos agreed with Arafat's suggestion that all religions celebrate the 2000 years since the birth of Christ together in Bethlehem.

Pangalos also met with Greeks in Gaza, and with members of the Greek- Palestinian Friendship Society.

And, in Israel, he met with former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres. Peres opposes Isreali settlements in the occupied territories, and favours an independent Palestinian state.


The economy was the topic of the first parliamentary debate between prime minister Kostas Simitis and the new leader of New Democracy, Kostas Karamanlis.

Kostas Simitis defended his governement's record, citing positive economic inidcators, like low inflation.

Simitis said that the main task before the country is to make its economy more competitive globally, and capable of achieving convergence with the stronger European Union members.

Simitis explained that the threats Greece is facing makes it imperative that the economy is strengthened, because economic might is the starting point of all strength in the international arena.

"If you have a black market economy", said the prime minister, "then national defence begins with cracking down on the tax-evaders".

Simitis said Greece is on the road to EU convergence.

Kostas Karamanlis replied, "We're glad that the ruling party has adopted New Democracy's positions that Greece should emphasise its EU orientation". But he implied that the government isn' up to the task of taking Greece down the EU road. "The question is, how do we travel that road?", he asked. "With a thought-out national strategy, or like the sweaty runner trying to catch up?"

Under heavy security, Sakis Rouvas and Bourak Koot took the stage Monday. As they practiced under the hot sun, at Tsetin-Kaya stadium in the neutral zone in Nicosia, the police were close by, on watch for trouble.

The United Nations was resonsible for security at the event. Body searches were conducted on all those attending. The three thousand Turkish- Cypriot tickets were all distributed in the occupied zone.

But there was less enthusiasm in Free Cyprus, where half of the tickets remained unused.

The tension was apparent over the weekend. On Sunday, UN troops tried to cover graffiti near the Lidra Palace, not far from the stadium. The graffiti depicts Cypriot battles for freedom and the faces of people missing since the bloody Turkish invasion in 1974.

The graffiti's been there since 1993, a symbol of what the people of free Cyprus feel. After strong reactions from family members of the missing, the UN was forced to remove the black cloth it was using to cover up the truth on the walls.

Though the Cypriot government gave its support to the concert - saying it was in the interest of the young people of the island - many people were upset by the concert.

Spyros Kyprianou, leader of Cyprus's Democractic Party said in exasperation: "Bringing one musician in from Greece and another illegally from occupied territory, illegally, to hold this concert amid the barbed wire to prove that the two countries can come closer together - for God's sake".

And Edek leader Lyssarides called the concert an affront to the dignity of the Cypriot people. The Pancypriot Federation of motorcycle riders and the Pancypriot Movement Against the Turkish occupation organised a protest counter-concert simultaneously with the Rouvas-Koot event, under the banner, "Freedom or Death", just 500 metres away from the stadium. Thousands of people showed up for the protest event.

Giorgos Chatzikostas, leader of the motorcyclists, said though his organisation had tried to cancel the concert, he hoped that there were no violent episodes. He added that a hundred bikers were marshalling the counter-concert to prevent any episodes.

Greek defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos says that the wall dividing Cyprus can't be brought down with cultural events.

Ironically, May 19th is the day that marks the genocide of the Pontian Greeks by the Turks.

Greek alternate foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou says though it's true the symbolic nature of the day was overlooked when the concert was scheduled, people shouldn't exaggerate the significance of that fact, since the Cypriot government approved of the musical event.


As the killing continues in Albania, the international community is putting pressure on the nation's politicians to work together and end he crisis there.

11 people were killed in 24 hours in fighting carried out by armed gangs which operate without any restraints.

Three of the latest victims were shot dead in rebel- held Avlona, in the southern part of the country, when rival gangs clashed.

Witnesses say the fighting went on all morning in Avlona. Schools and shops are closed. Not that it matters, residents are afraid to send their youngsters to school, despite the fact that two Italian armoured vehicles constantly patrol the city streets.

Four more people were killed in fighting in Memalee- eh, 180 kilometres south of Tirane. Two of the victims were a woman and her five-year-old son.

There is also lawlessness up north. In Skodra, a man was murdered when thieves tried to steal a car.

The police in some areas say the situation is out of control. They want the international peacekeepers to step in to help them out.

The international community is hoping that the national elections scheduled for June 29th will put an end to the political crisis and social chaos.

But opposition parties are saying they'll boycott the ballot boxes if president Sali Berisha doesn't change an election law that favours his party.

European Union mediator Franz Vranitsky says that if the political parties can't work out the election hitch, then western observers will not monitor the elections.


New Democracy's leader says his party is going to get its own web site.

Kostas Karamanlis visited an electronic games exhibition Sunday.

When he saw how how well Greece's national soccer team played the guidance of teenagers, Karamanlis saied "We could never play soccer like this at their age!"

The New Democracy leader also tried his hand at the joystick, saying how impressed he is by the way young people enter the world of high technology today.


The Ecumenical orthodox patriarch was in Milan for religious events to honour the city's patron saint. Vartholomeos said St Amvrosios, who lived 1600 years ago, before the schism that divided the one Christian church into two, is an example of unity.

Vartholomeos made the comment during his address to the Ecumenical Conference entitled: "Milan- Between East and West".

Vartholomeos visited the Venegono School of Theology and the monastery there.

The patriarch took in an exhibition on St Amvrosios and visited the orthodox church in Milan.


Immunotherapy is being used to help women have children after years of fruitless effort.

The new method was presented at he Obstetrics and Gynecology Congress in Crete.

Professor of immunology Michalis Danielides says the method is cleaver and simple, and carries no risks for the parents.

Nopi an Lazaros Tsigenis decided to use it a year ago, when it was in the experimental stage.

Today, they have not one, but three beautiful babies, six months old.

The only problem they have now, is deciding what course of action to take when all three crib- crawlers cry together. Lazaros says he tries to shout ever-louder, but melts when he sees their smiles.

Over one hundred couples who've used the new method are now expecting.


13-year-old Vassilis Dossoulas touched the hearts of thousands, lighting the torch to open the track and field meet held by Athens College.

It was no ordinary run Vassilis made to light the torch.

Vassilis lost both legs three years ago in a boating accident.

But on Saturday, he held the torcho of hope tight, to the wonder and amazement of all those present.

Vassilis told Antenna he faced his trial easily. "My parents, my faith, and God helped me a lot", he explained. "Strength comes from your mind.

Asked what advice he has for other young people with similar problems, he says they shouldn't give up, but try to live their lives normally.


In weekend soccer, Panathinaikos is on the verge of being left out of European competition for the first time in 14 years.

Pao draws with Ofi, 1-1, falling into fifth place with one game left in the season, three points behind Paok and six points behind Ofi.

And the bad news is DEFINITE for Aris. After its weekend draw, it's on its way to the second division next year - for the first time in its history.

Veria saved its first-division place with a victory over Kastoria, also on its way down.

Elsewhere, Paok, Aek, Apollon and league champ Olympiakos all win on the road.

And Ionikos and Panachaiki do the home crowds proud.


In pro-basketball, Olympiakos survived a late drought at home Sunday, and beat Aek 53-49 to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five championship series.

Aek will try to level the series at home on Wednesday.

After holding the European champ scoreless for 7 minutes in the fourth quarter, Aek draws level at 43. Then Olympiakos centre Dragan Tarlach scores four straight points to put the home team up for good with just two minutes remaining.

David Rivers comes up with six steals in the contest for Olympiakos.

Tarlach tops the winners with 16 points.


In the battle for third place, and Greece's third slot in next year's European championship, Paok used an 86-61 road crushing of Peristeri to take a 2-1 lead in their series, and seize the home court advantage.

Racers' rev your engines, and don't worry about the environment. Fifteen race cars took part in the first ecology-minded rally ever held in Greece. All ran on electricity.

The three-kilometre lap was covered three times in the race, and the cars were impressive.

Thomas ChOndros, showed off his team's car. "It's an experimental model we made at the university of Patra in 1991", explained the college professor. It has a top speed of 70 kilometres an hour".

Electric cars may be clean, but they don't look any different than their dirty cousins from a distancc. A closer look shows that in the place of the carburetors and spark plugs, are electric sockets.

This car finished second in last year's world electric car championship in Paris. Its top speed is 200 kilometres an hour.

Off the race track, the electric cars have another advantages. They don't need gasoline, and cost no more than ordinary cars.

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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