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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-08-07

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From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English, 07/08/97


  • Closer cooperation between Greece and Albania is on the way.
  • Greece's track and field championships medalist Kostas Gatsioudis talks to Antenna.
  • And, an ancient burial site located in the heart of modern Athens.


Theodoros Pangalos says better Greek-Turkish relations depend on Turkey.

The Greek foreign minister explains that things will get better if Turkey agrees to take its claim to the Greek isle of Imia to the international court, and to let the court rule on rights to the continental shelf in the Aegean Sea.

In comments carried by the Washington Post, Pangalos adds that Greece will lift its veto over European Union funding of Turkey, if Turkey goes to the international court over Imia.

He warns however, that if the Cyprus problem isn't resolved, then Turkey cannot be allowed to join the European Union.


The Greek government is calling an agreement signed between Turkey and the self-proclaimed northern Turkish state an obvious attempt to increase its control over Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus.

The agreement, signed Wednesday, calls for affiliation of Turkey and northern Cyprus in military, economic, and diplomatic matters.

Only Turkey has recognised the self-styled Turkish-Cypriot state. The international community recognises only that Turkey is in illegal occupation of the north, and the UN has repeatedly calle on it to withdraw.

The Greek government says the agreement shows that Turkey has contempt for international law.

New Democracy spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos calls the agreement a show of power and intransigence. Turkey, he adds, insists on treading all over international law.


High-ranking Greek ministers wrapped up their visit to Albania confident that ties between the two countries are going to be strengthened.

The foreign minister and six other cabinet members feel their trip has paved the way for cooperation between Greece and Albania. They also believe that Albania eagerly wants Greek support as it attempts to clear the economic and social hurdles before it.

Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos says Greece and Albania are cooperating in economic and security matters, to help make sure the new government in Tirana can stand on its feet.

The visit of the Greek delegation marks the beginning of implementation of agreements signed earlier but essentially shelved, concerning economic development and security cooperation.

The government of prime minister Fatos Nano is in dire need of financial assistance and his government is willing to cooperate to get it.

Greece has asked Albania to cooperate in drawing up proposals specifying economic development projects Greece could undertake.

In September, Greek and Albanian officials will meet to compare notes.

Greece has also promised to lend the Albanian government nearly 7 million dollars to meet its budgetary requirements. A further 63 million dollars in loans will be available for work to be contracted out to Greek firms in Albania. Water and sewage projects for Tirana are possible tasks Greek companies could undertake.

Pangalos says the message for Albania is "work and hope, and that Greece will stand firmly beside it as it struggles to get out of its crisis". Security matters were also discussed during the Greek delegation's visit. Both sides agreed that restoring order and restricting the activities of Albanian criminals along the Greek border must be a priority. Greece has undertaken to reorganise the Albanian police, and provide it with equipment.

Greece is also helping the Albanian military regroup, sending advisors.

Pangalos announced that in September he will ask the EU to begin working with Albania again.

The Greek foreign minister also touched on areas of immediate concern to Greece, asking that private Greek schools be allowed to open in Albania, for the benefit of the Greek minority.

Greece is also going to deal with the open question of illegal Albanian immigrants working in Greece.

A new immigration law will give Albanian and other foreign workers the chance to legalise their status, and obtain work permits for up to a year. There are an estimated 300 thousand Albanians illegally working in Greece today.


Archeologists believe they have found an Athenian burial site of top political figures and war heroes of antiquity in downtown Athens.

After 35 years of research and seven straight months of digging, archeologists fell upon a number of ancient graves in the Keramikos district. The gravesites are believed to date back to the Peloponesian War, nearly two-and-a-half thousand years ago.

The ancient 'cemetery of heroes' was stumbled upon by workers beginning construction on a new theatre. Archeologists who conducted historical research for over 35 years were called in to excavate in the area.

The team of archeologists believe they have brought to light the heart of an ancient cemetery located on a main thoroughfare in antiquity. According to ancient law, the central part of the street or 'Public Sign' as it was called was the official burial place of Athenian heroes and persons of honour.

The ancient burial street, constructed in the 5th century B.C., harbours four limestone graves called, 'polyAndria' meaning, 'with several men'. The gravesites contain the burnt bones and ashes of top political figures and the first dead soldiers who died in battle. Archeologists believe that the bones found in the graves belong to the skeletons of several tall men.

Pottery depicting battle and farewell scenes was also found among the ashes. The ceramics date back to 430 B.C., which coincides with the beginning of the Peloponesian War.

Archeologists say that indications of a fifth grave site prevail, putting its location within the vicinity of the newly discovered sites.

During antiquity, Athens and Sparta functioned as independent city-states fighting a bitter 27-year war, which the Athenians won.


The upward surge of the US dollar has the Greek government concerned. The dollar hit a record-high Wednesday, reaching nearly 300 drachmae.

The dollar's dramatic week-and-a-half climb, has spurred worries in Athens that inflation will rise because international oil prices are set in dollars.

To try to hold fuel prices down, the Greek government decided to reduce a special gas tax. But it now appears that measure won't be enough to deal with the upward pressure on fuel prices.

The price of diesel fuel jumped 11 cents a litre Wednesday.

Trying to allay the concerns, the national statistics service says that the dollar jump shouldn't affect inflation too adversely, since the majority of Greece's foreign trade is conducted with European countries, where the dollar is not a factor.


At the world track and field championships in Athens Wednesday, Christos Me- lE-to-glou moved into the men's triple jump final with a 17.04 metre effort. That equals the Greek record set by Dimitris Michas in the 1971 Balkan Games. Katerina Koffa advanced to Thursday's women's 200 metre semifinals, turning in a time of 20.57 seconds in the quarters.

And Giorgos Pana-gio-tOpoulos made it through to the men's 200 metre semis, with a time of 20.57 seconds.

In the men's high jump, Lambros Papa-kOstas failed to come away with a medal from Wednesday's final.

He finished in sixth place, clearing the bar at 2 metres, 32 centimetres. Cuban Javier Sotomayar won the gold, with a jump of 2.37 metres.

Panagiotis Stroubakos failed to advance to the men's 800 metre finals. After a fast start, he finished 6th in his semi-final heat, with a time of 1 minute, 46 point 81 seconds.


Kostas Gatsioudis won Greece its first medal at the world track and field championships Tuesday, winning the bronze medal in the javelin.

Antenna's Dimitris Stavrakakis caught up with him and his coach Wednesday.

Kostas Gatsioudis says he was happy to be able to win the Greek fans a medal at home. "All the hard work was worth it".

50,000 people cheered him on at Athens Olympic stadium Tuesday, and the pressure was on: for days the press had been saying he was sure to win a medal. "The truth is, I wasn't even going for a medal when the competition started", he explains. "In fact, health problems had even put a question mark over my taking part in the championships".

He performed so well, though, that he was even going for the gold when something went wrong on his 5th attempt Tuesday. "I don't know what happened. Some people have told me I may have lost control of the javelin a little - it all happens so fast".

During that fifth throw, Gatsioudis injured his arm. Going into the sixth and final attempt, he was in second place, but Britain's Steven Backley moved into the silver slot with his final hurl. Gatsioudis wanted to make his sixth attempt, but his coach advised him against it.

Which is just as well, says Gatsioudis, because he could've seriously damaged his arm if he had.

Gatsioudis's interest in throwing began when he was nine years old, when he threw sticks in the fields for fun. It was by chance that he took up the javelin. He just went to the stadium in his home town of Didimotiko to take up some sport. The rest is history.

And emotion. His parents, other family members and greeted his achievement with warm words and congratulations outside Athens Olympic stadium Tuesday night.

His mother Sultana was so overwrought during the competition that she just kept her eyes fixed on the 80 metre line, waiting for her son's javelin to cross it with each throw. "I was really charged emotionally", she says, "with the support the fans gave Kostas".

Anna Verouli has been in Gatsioudis's shoes. In 1983, she finished third in the javelin at the world championships in Helsinki.

Congratulating Gatsioudis, she said he's shown he knows how to compete with the guest. "He's young", she added, "I hope he goes on to do even better".


Kostas Gatsioudis was one of the athletes honoured by the Greek Athletics Federation.

The Federation celebrated its 100th anniversary with a special event, at which a number of sporting world figures were given awards.

In addition to Gatsioudis and Anna Verouli, who won Greece the bronze in the women's javelin at the 1983 world championships, the organisation singled out International Amateur Athletics Federation chairman Primo Nebiolo for an award.

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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