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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-08-13

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From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English, 13/08/97


  • UN mediator Diego Cordovez lowers expectations for the second round of Cyprus talks
  • Foreign Athletes departing Greece at the international airport leave us their impressions
  • And, Greek children from former soviet Union have the opportunity of a lifetime


UN mediator Diego Cordovez is warning against hopes of rapid progress between Cypriot president Glavcos Clerides and Turkish leader Raouf Denktash as the second round of the Cyprus talks get underway in Switzerland, Tuesday.

Even though both men put on a show of joviality, shaking hands for the cameras as they met for the formal opening of the talks, diplomats analyzing comments made by both sides before the talks, combined with the current situation on the island say prospects for movement towards a solution look dim.

Diego Cordovez, the UN special advisor on Cyprus commenting on the proposed approach of the Cyprus talks said that they would focus on legal and institutional texts. Adding that, "We're not expecting them to solve the problem. In the past they started from zero trying to get to 100. Now we are starting to move one point at a time to 20, to 30 etc. until we reach a 100.

The United Nations eventually hopes to come to an agreement establishing some sort of federation linking the two communities on the Mediterranean island. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded the island.

Cypriot president Glavcos Clerides who heads a government that is effectively Greek-cypriot accused the Turkish side last week of trying to sabotage the meetings in Switzerland by recently signing an integration agreement with Turkey.

Turkey has its own fears about the Cypriot government's drive to join the European Union.

With the foreign ministry saying that the recent Turkish agreements are recognized as a self- defence mechanism to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

Turkish leader, Raouf Denktash blamed the stalemate in the talks on the Greek Cypriot's race to join the European Union. Speaking negatively, he said he felt the Turkish-Cypriot position had been ignored. In a tough stance he accused the international community of not listening to his side. Adding that the European Union was getting in the way of a deal at the talks.

He further added that, "We're entering a crucial negotiating process. We have been defending political equality, that sovereignty is not Greek Cypriot sovereignty but bi-communal sovereignty. Adding that, "Mr. Clerides is on the record as saying that he is not going to discuss sovereignty with us. We are NOT going to discuss sovereignty with him because we ARE sovereign.

Denktash further accused the EU of destroying chances for a settlement by announcing plans for entry talks for Cyprus and has reiterated that he would pull out if that happened.

"We want the EU to understand that by interfering with the affairs of Cyprus at a very crucial stage, by giving a green light to one of the parties to represent the whole island and to become a member, it destroyed chances of a settlement. Adding that, "If the EU talks start, the intercommunal talks will stop. That will be the end of the matter."

MumtAz SoizAl, Turkish constitution specialist and Denktash advisor commented on the Turkish strategy of Cyprus's entry into the EU by saying, "if the South, meaning Cyprus's free territories, unifies its economy with the European economy. Then the North, meaning the self-proclaimed Turkish state in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, will unify its economy with that of Turkey.

For its part the Greek-Cypriot government delegation reiterated its viewpoint that the Turkish-Cypriots should abide by UN security council resolutions demanding the withdrawal of

Turkish troops and settlers from the northern part of the island and the return of refugees to their homes. The meeting in Switzerland is due to last about five days.


The 6th World Track and Field Championships ended with foreign athletes leaving Athens with smiles on their faces, memories in their hearts, medals in their pockets and some bottles of fantastic Greek wine in their bags. With the strict measures at the international airport assuring the overall safety of the departure of the competing athletes, the electronic detection devices were working over time.

And for good reason. The athletes, in addition to holding onto their memories, seemed to be harbouring some very special little items in their luggage. To the amusement and laughter of all, the electronic detection devices kept sounding off to that very special gold, silver or bronze medal or maybe those numerous bottles of dionysis's favorite beverage...fantastic Greek wine.

All were in a jovial mood and expressed their enthusiam for Greece and the Greek fans who came to watch them compete.

Jamacian runner Merlene Ottey said that, "the response from Greek fans was tremendous. Adding that, "maybe the results for me weren't so good, but I felt very fantastic with the wonderful welcome that I received".

Michael Johnson, US gold sprinter said, "They cheered me on a lot. There was a great turnout and that's important for the Championships. I felt at home with the crowd".

And, Ato Boldon from Trinidad who won the gold in the 200 meter race was enthusiastic about the organization saying, "It was great, better than the Olympics and the Olympics are supposed to have much better organization. I was really happy with the way things worked out".

Artour Parteka, Polish silver medalist in the high jump chimed in saying that, "the organisation of the Championships was a success all around. Adding that, "Athens is a beautiful city. I hope Athens manages to host the 2004 Olympics. Greeks are beautiful people and created a fantastic atmosphere in the stadium. I hope I'll have the opportunity to come back and visit".


Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos says he was very pleased with the impeccable organization of the 6th World Athletic Championships held in the Greek capitol over the past 10 days.

Speaking with Antenna's Andreas Pana-gO-poulos, the mayor was also quite optimistic that Athens WILL be chosen to host the 2004 Olympics.

"Everyone admitted that the Championships were organised and hosted in the most successful and professional way possible. Saying that, "From the opening ceremony which was broadcast worldwide, to the smooth flow of the programme, to the new image of the Greek capital, everything down to the last detail proved that Greece CAN successfully host highly demanding athletic events.

When asked about the 2004 Olympics and the organization behind such a grand scale event

Avramopoulos was optimistic saying, "We ARE ready to host the Olympic Games in the year 2004".


It's the middle of summer and that means...summer sales in the Greek capitol.

But sales have been hitting record lows. Some say its due to the peak holiday season, but many retailers believe the holidays are not the only reason for the sales slump.

Although prices are being cut by up to 70 percent in many stores, people are looking, not buying.

One retailer says, "Prices are good, but people don't have money".

Athens Shop Owners Association are proposing to reduce the number of sales days to forty, allowing retailers a sales period of three times a year. Severe penalities will be imposed on those who infringe that right.


Eight hundred and sixty eight Greek children from the former Soviet Union are enjoying some sunny fun-filled carefree days at a special camp in Perama.

The special programme is organised by Greece's General Secretariat for the Diaspora under the auspices of the Foreign ministry. With Stavros Lambrinides at the helm, it aims at reuniting and bringing Greeks together wherever they may be. For 25 fun-filled educational days, Greek children will be staying at the special camps. Giving them the opportunity to get to know Greece. In a loving and giving educational environment they will be encouraged to make new friends while engaging in Greek lessons and traditional folklore dances.

Lambrinides says, "Our greatest hope is that within ten or twenty years, these children will still remember their strong ties with the motherland".

The special programme for Greek children living abroad is scheduled every summer with the cooperation of local authorities.


The beautiful seaside resort of Porto Heli, located in the Peloponese is hosting a festival encompassing a rich cornicopia of cultural events.

This year marks the 8th festival, with Greek and Russian musicians enthralling holiday makers with their musical talents.

It was smooth listening Monday night as soloists Alexandros Ha-lApsis and his son Vladislav performed the double concerto for two violins of Bach.

Pandelis Trigkakis, president of Porto Heli community says the festival will encompass ten consecutive days of cultural events ending on August 22th.

The festival known as, "The Art of Life" is in its fourth successful consecutive year.

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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