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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-05-28

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

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English, 28/05/97


  • Greece joins its partners in praising Nato's agreement with Russia.
  • Kostas Simtis tells Suleiman Demirel his remarks are detrimental to Greek-Turkish relations.
  • And, the US congress recommends Mediterranean nations settle differences legally.


Greece is hailing the signing of an agreement that brings Nato and Russia closer together. Prime minister Kostas Simitis joined the other leaders of Nato countries in Paris Tuesday, for the signing of the Founding Act of Mutual Relations in Paris.

Nato chiefs say the accord closes the book on the Cold War, and will pave the way to close cooperation between former adversaries.

Prime minister Simitis said the agreement brings an era to a close. The Cold War, the iron cutrain, the arms race, and the nuclear deterrent are no more".

Those were the sentiments expressed by other parties to the agreement. Russian president Boris Yeltsin called it a victory for reason.

US president Bill Clinton said the veil of hostility between East and West has lifted, and that a future of partnership lies ahead.


The Greek prime minister met with Turkish president Suleiman Demirel on the sidelines of the Nato summit.

Kostas Simitis said they talked about Demirel's interview with Antenna television last week, and noted that he disagreed with the views Demirel had expressed.

In that interview, Demirel said ALL Greek-Turkish differences should be resolved through dialogue. And he offered to sign a "no-attack" agreement with Greece.

But Demirel also repeated his country's claims to scores of Greek Aegean isles, and renewed the threat to go to war if Greece exercises its international right to extend its Aegean sea borders from 6 to 12 miles.

Simitis explained to the Turkish president that those views don't flow in the right direction, and do not contribute to the smoothing out of bilateral relations, because they are not based in the principles of international law. It appears, added Simitis, that Turkey wants to alter international treaties.

Demirel proposed dialogue between the two countries to discuss their problems.

Simitis replied that first, Turkey must recognise the basic tenets of international law.


Asked how Greece feels about Demirel's "no-attack" proposal, Simitis said Greece can't say in advance what it intends to do.

Other Greek leaders also commented on Demirel's remarks, restated by the deputy Turkish foreign minister Monday, "contradictory".

Calls for across-the-board dialogue and a "no- attack" agreement, coupled with threats and claims on Greek soil. That's the gist of what Turkish president Suleiman Demirel and Turkish deputy foreign minister Onour Oimen are offering Greece.

Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos says the "no-attack" offer would be good, if Turkey backs off of it war threats over the Aegean.

Greek alternate foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, who joined Oimen in a public discussion Monday, says the public statements made by Turkish leaders in recent days are contradictory. Greece, he adds, needs to figure out exactly what Turkey means, whether or not there is increasing intolerance toward Greece coming from Turkey.

A number of Pasok MPs were asked to comment on the Turkish belief that dialogue is the only way forward, or whether they even believe the expert committees that are currently reporting on Greek- Turkish relations are necessary.

Konstantinos VrettOs says any dialogue would have positive results. It would be good if through it Turkey finally understood that it cannot make claims on Greece in the Aegaen. But even if Turkey insisted on making its claims, the result would still be positive, because international opinion would clearly see what Turkey really wants.

Stelios Papathemelis sees things differently. "Ankara is going crazy at all levels of leadership. I'm sorry Greece hasn't yet stopped talks with Turkey, talks which of course lead nowhere".

New Democracy criticises the Pasok government for what it calls its insistence on dialogue without conditions. Pasok is mortgaging Greece's positions, it adds, by ignoring Turkish intransigence.

MP Vangelis Meimarakis says, "Unfortunately, the government is being dragged into a dialogue which will give Turkey's claims an official stamp, and cost Greece its position in the international community".

And MP Spilios Spiliotopoulos says, "We can't sit at a negotiating table with Turkey at the moment when Turkey exceeds any political reason".

The 2-man Greek committee on Greek-Turkish relations has sent its initial report to the European Union. The memorandum repeats that international law should be the foundation on which differences between the two nations are resolved, and that threats of violence should be stopped.


A US congressional report indirectly calls on Turkey to take its claims on Greece in the Aegean to the international court.

Specifically, the foreign relations committee report on Mediterranean nations says that security in the region can only be guaranteed if international treaties and exisitng borders are respected.

It adds that whoever questions the implementation and interpretation of international treaties, should take it up with international legal bodies.

The committee clearly states that the US and other countries have pubicly expressed strong opposition to threats of violence to resolve international disagreements.

In a SPECIAL report, the committee calls on the US government to undertake to solve the Cyprus problem on the basis of international law.

Turkey has been in military occupation of northern Cyprus for 22 years, ignoring UN calls to get its troops out.


The Greek defence minister says that a strong military is necessary in the face of the Turkish threat.

Akis Tsochatzopoulos and leaders of the armed forces reviewed tests of new missile systems in Thrace.

Tsochatzopoulos said Turkey is wrong if it thinks there are what it calls "grey zones", areas in the Aegean of questionable sovereignty.

When Turkey invaded the Greek rocks of Imia last year, added Tsochatzopoulos, Turkey made its claims to Greek soil official.

Noting that Greece is the only EU and Nato member facing aggressive claims to its territory by another nation, the defence minister said Turkey should understand that its expansionist designs on Greece make it the number one threat to stability in the region.


The leader of New Democracy says the government is running down the nation's education system.

Kostas Karamanlis outlined his party's education aims at a parents and guardians conference.

Karamanlis told the educational organisation that the education budget should be expanded to 5 per cent of the gross national product.

He also said that New Democracy is finalising its detailed proposals for the education system. After they're finished, his party will call for a social dialogue on the issue.

Karamanlis was critical of Pasok's numerous about-turns and zig-zags on education polcy. He said the government has no thought-out strategy, just proposals by individuals with personal ambitions.


Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras says his party will continue to be a trail-blazing organisation in Greek politics.

When Samaras left New Democray to form Spring before the 1993 elections, he said he was breaking with the past.

Spring was elected to parliament in 93, but NOT in 1996.

Talking about his party's first conference this Friday, Samaras said the country's political horizon needs to be recast.

Emphasising once again that Spring resembles no other party, he said that the conference will be one of political courage, rebellious conscience, and exploring political prospects - and not a stage for personalities and conflict.


"ArchAnes, a Fresh Look at Minoan Crete", does just that: viewers have the opportunity to see 248 artefacts from the ancient civilisation at the impressive exhibit in Athens.

The ancient findings will be on display at the Museum of Cycladic Art for a year.

The exhibit was launched by president Kostis Stephanopoulos.

The items on display, including gold jewellery, small figures, and Egyptian scarabs, date from 3 thousand to 1 thousand BC.

The Minoan treasures were the product of 30 years of digging by archeologists Yiannis and Efi Sakellarakis.

At the launch, president Stephanopoulos expressed his great esteem for the couple, who, he said, have contributed much not only to their field, but also to Greek civilisation.

The exhibit is supplemented by a two-tome work on the ArchAnes region.


This year marks the 56th anniversary of the legendary Battle of Crete against the Germans during World War II.

In a special report by Antenna's Nikolas Vafiadis, the battle is revisited, using original video from the archives of screen director Vassilis Maros. In the Battle of Crete, heavy losses were inflicted on the nazi war machine, making the battle a turning point in the war.

The Battle of Crete was one of the most well- planned German operations in World War II. It was the code-named "Marita".

In the early hours of May 20, l941, German bombs and paratroopers landings filled the quiet morning sky. The goal was to deal a quick, devastating blow to the Allied forces on the island and Crete within a couple of days.

Any last minute delays were crucial for Nazi troops, who also had their hands full in Russia. May 21st marked the day hundreds of German paratroopers landed in the village of MAlemo. It was a hand to hand battle. The well-armed Germans met unexpected resistance from the Cretans.

It took an entire week for the Germans to occupy the city of Chania, and their losses were so great additional forces had to be sent in.

On May 28th, the Germans occupied the city of Rethymno, defeating the forces of Australia and New Zealand. Only the steadfast Cretans remained at their posts.

In the city of Iraklio, English troops fought together with island residents until May 28th, where they received orders from Cairo, Egypt to sail for the Middle East.

By May 29th, Crete was under the nazis, who unleashed an unprecedented wave of murder, persecution and torture.


Children from the region devastated by the nuclear explosion in Chernobyl just ended a two-week holiday in Greece.

The Peloponese vacation was organised by father Emmanuel Skiniotakis, known for his charity work.

103 Russian children who share traumatic memories of the Chernobyl acccident in 1986, spent two weeks enjoying the sun, the sand, and the clean air.

With Father Emmanuel's help, the children were guests of the bishop of Ilia, Germanos, who has long had the holiday camp in the Peloponese.

While the kids were enjoying themselves in Greece, Father Emmanuel said, "this is a chance for them to breathe clean Greek air, and to see the clean sea". 750 other children from Chernobyl enjoyed that privilege in the past.


Honouring the late Melina Mercouri, the unforgettable actress and dynamic culture minister, the Greek soccer pool and lottery organisation OPAP has awarded actors its annual "Melina Mercouri" prizes.

The organisation's advertising slogan is "OPAP, in the service of sports and culture", something that Melina wished for, says organisation president Sotiris Alimissis.

Film director Jules Dassin, Mercouri's husband, told those at the ceremony, "Melina is really with us".

OPAP gave 20 thousand dollars to the Actors' Home, an association for poor actors, and awarded a further 8 thousand dollars to actor Kostas Hatzichristos, whose old movie clips appear in many OPAP TV adds.


And finally, Greek school kids had the chance to put their minds to science, with impressive results.

They do it every year at the Kosteas-Gitonas school, which considers its annual scholarship project a golden opporunity for young minds to grapple with issues and problems.

The young scientists worked for six months on matters ranging from pollution, to a dictionary of biological terminology, to DNA.

School founder Eleftherios Gitonas explains that the school gives out scholarships, providing the students with a chance to engage in scientific and educational activities.

The aim of the scholarships is to reinforce young people's interest not only in science, but also in the arts and literature.

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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