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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-05-22

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

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English, 22/05/97


  • Investigations continue into the death of a Greek consulate guard in Albania.
  • The Washington Post gives high marks to Kostas Simitis.
  • And, Greek beaches, the best in Europe.


Coroners say a guard shot dead at the Greek consulate in Argyrokastro, Albania Tuesday, did NOT shoot himself.

Their reports show that 35-year-old Nikos Markakis was killed by a bullet entering his left temple from above, and from a distance greater than three feet.

The new findings overturn the initial belief that Markakis had accidentally shot himself.

Nikos Markakis was on the second floor of the consulate building when the shooting occurred. Initially, the authorities ruled out suicide and homicide, saying Markakis had accidentally shot himself.

But the latest autopsy reports, and the fact that both of Markakis's service guns were found with their safeties on, prove that the bullet to the temple was fired by someone else.

The coroners say the policeman was fired on from a distance of less than 3 feet, meaning whoever shot him was in the same room.

That puts paid to speculation that he was shot by someone outside the conulate.

The latest findings mean the Greek government has changed its position - Tuesday, the public order minister was certain Markakis had shot himself by accident.

Giorgos Romaios said on Wednesday, that we'll have to wait and see what the investigations turn up.

The safety catches were locked on both of Markakis's service weapons. Ballistics experts in Athens are checking the six other weapons that were also in the room when the shooitng occurred.

And authorities are questioning several people, including a Greek-Albanian consulate employee who was closer to Markakis than anyone else when the shot was fired.

Nikos Markakis was buried Wednesday afternoon, in the village of Mazia, just outside Iannena.

He is survived by his wife and his nine-year-old daughter.


The Greek authorities are trying to win the release of two men kidnapped and taken to Albania.

43-year-old Leonidas Tsepas and 23-year-old Giorgos Prokopiou were set upon by 8 armed Albanians near the border, not far from the Albanian city of Saranda.

The kidnappers took the two farmers to Albania. Telephone contact has been made with the kidnappers, who are demanding ransom from the families of the abducted men.

Sources say the kidnapping followed a dispute of a financial nature between the Albanians and the two farmers.

Some Greeks living near Albania say they live in constant fear of criminals from across the border. One man told Antenna, "We're really scared. They steal our sheep".

A 71-year-old woman was raped in a village in northwestern Greece, allegedly by an Albanian illegal immigrant who entered her home and threatened her with a knife.


Albanian opposition parties say they're ready to take part in the national elections scheduled for the end of June, if the international community will oversee the balloting, ensuring that the elections are fair.

The opposition parties taking part in the interim government charged with taking the nation to elections, threatened to boycott the balloting if president Sali Berisha didn't revise an election law they say favoured his Democratic Party.

Greece and other nations taking part in the multinational peacekeeping force in Albania were frustrated by the stalemate.

But Berisha has now agreed to allow the multi-party government choose the members of the central election committee.

Fatos Nano, the socialist party leader, says his party and the smaller parties will take part in the elections IF international observers guarantee fair balloting.


Prime minister Simitis and all the other politicians in Greece with the first name Constantinos celebrated their nameday on Wednesday. As did all those named Eleni.

As we hear in this report, it was a pretty long list. Whatever their political differences, prime minister Kostas Simitis, president Kostis Stephanopoulos, New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, and his uncle, party founder Constantinos Karamanlis, and former prime minister Constantinos Mitsotakis all have one thing in common: their name day.

The prime minister chose to spend his day receiving warm name day greetings at his official residence. Throughout the day, ministers, members of Pasok's executive bureau and the central committee, and party MPs passed by taking time out from their busy schedules to wish him their best.

There were plenty of other people in Pasok celebrating.

Like party secretary Kostas Skandalides, who remarked that he had spoken with the premier, and while exchanging well wishes, they both stated that things appear to be going better for the country.

Pasok MP Eleni Anoussaki, who also had her nameday on Wednesday, stated with great satisfaction that she gave the prime minister a very beautiful gold and wood frame, while the prime minister found his own special way to wish her well by sending her a telegram the day before.

President Kostis Stefanopoulos wasn't at home to receive well-wishers. He was in the Ionian sea touring the island of Zakynthos.


As we heard there, the name day knows no party bounds.

New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis was the recipient of numerous bouquets of flowers from associates and friends. Party members popped in and out of the party headquarters all day wishing him their best.

New Democracy MP Nikos Nikolopoulos wished the party leader Kostas Karamanlis every success, saying "the door he has opened with his election will lead us to the roads the younger generation wants to travel".

Another memorable quote came from by MP Giorgos KalOs, who said he hopes Karamanlis becomes prime minister and...gets married!

Former premier and New Democracy leader Constantinos Mitsotakis was also the recipient of flowers and warm wishes from party MPs, partners and friends.

Former president and New Democracy founder Constantinos Karamanlis celebrated his nameday in a much quieter way, as he does every year, with close friends and family members at his residence in the Athens suburb of Politia.

The fact that Karamanlis chose to celebrate in a quiet manner, however, did not keep him from receiving dozens of well-wishing telegrams, coupled with flowers from eminent figures all over the world.

People close to the elder statesman say Karamanlis received more telegrams and flowers this year than ever before.


The US state department is calling positive a concert held by Greek and Turkish singers in Cyprus's neutral zone Monday.

The concert by Sakis Rouvas and Bourat Koot was sanctioned by the Cypriot government, but many people in Greece and Cyprus frowned on it, in light of the ongoing Turkish occupation of the northern part of the island.

Anti-occupation groups staged a concert of their own during the Rouvas event. Relatives of three Greek-Cypriots killed by Turkish troops and mobs last year attended the protest event.

State department spokesman Nicholas Burns supported the Rouvas-Koot concert, saying its aim was to bring people toghether, something that should be done. He added that sometimes small steps are needed, like the presence of Greek and Turkish Cypriots in one audience, if peace is evert to come to the island.

However, only 300 Greek-Cypriots attended the free concert, whilce some 3 thousand people were at the protest anti-occupation event.

Burns condemned the stoning of Koot's bus by Turkish-Cypriots, while the Turkish singer was on his way to the concert with Rouvas.


A Japanese breakthrough in cancer treatment is being hailed around the world. The US has already approved the cancer-retarding drug TNP-470, which is expected to be available in Greece by early next year.

Antenna talked to oncologist Nikos Lygidakis about the new drug.

Nikos Lygidakis explains that TNP-470 is a vegetable product that prevents blood from getting to cancerous cells, thus putting a brake on the spread of the disease.

Lygidakis says that like TNP, two proteins, endostatine and angiostatine also stop cancer from spreading.

The Greek doctor points out that cancer doesn't appear from one moment to the next. It passes through several stages, during which the healthy cell is transformed into a cancerous one. The key to whether or not cancer eventually develops is the blood vessels, which carries unhealthy cells to difference parts of the body.

Lygidakis demonstrates this point with pictures. On the left is a large, growing tumour in an experimental animal. On the right is the same tumour, much smaller after treatment with the three drugs.

The advantage of TNP-470 pver the proteins is that it is easier to produce.

TNP is effective on all kinds of cancer says Lygidakis. It's been used to treat liver, lung, pancreatic, and digestive tract cancers with very positive results.


The cleanest beaches in Europe are in Greece. That according to a European Union report.

The EU study looked at 13 thousand beaches and 6 thousand swimming spots in rivers and lakes around the continent.

The conclusion is that 99.9 per cent of Greece's beaches are clean, perfect for a dip.

46.8 per cent of Britain's coasts are deemed unfit for swimming, as are 24.6 per cent of France's, and 18.8 per cent of Spain's.

The report seems to favour the sea over fresh water spots, 75 per cent of which in the EU are considered unsuitable for swimsuits and the people wearing them.


In pro-basketball, Paok locked up its berth in next year's European championship league. Paok won the right by beating Peristeri in the battle for third place in the Greek first division.

Paok wins that best-of-five series 3-1, with a 78- 47 demolition of Peristeri at home Tuesday night. The home team smothers its guest's offence from the outset, and leads 40-23 at the half.


Off the court, Greece's greatest basketball legend says at age 40 that he'd still like to get back on the court.

Nikos Gallis put basketball on the map in Greece, leading the national team to the European championship in 1987.

Now, two years after his retirement, he says in an interview with the magazine Action, that he'd like to come back, but on his own terms.

After playing college ball at Seton Hall, Gallis brought his scoring knack to Greece, leading Aris to numerous championships. His retirement decision followed a quarrel with his Pao coach, and a four- month suspension.

Gallis says he's still in top shape, and would put his jersey on again, if he had what he considers a good offer.

Aris and Paok both flirted with Gallis last season, but neither club could come up with an enticing enough offer.

Gallis, a fierce competitor, says his desire to return doesn't stem from a feeling that he has something to prove, but from a desire to set goals for himself.

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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