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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-08-21

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From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English, 21/08/97


  • Cyprus looks to the UN to take on Turkish-Cypriot inflexibility
  • Lady Diana's departure from Greece
  • Missing US airman Larry Gonzales is found safe and sound.


The Cypriot government is expecting the United Nations to take steps to counter the inflexibility of the Turkish-Cypriots.

Turkish-Cyriot leader Raouf Denktash refused to accept UN proposals designed to reunite Cyprus at negotiations last week. Before moving forward, he said the European Union must retract its offer to start talks on Cypriot admission to the EU next year.

And, as we hear in this report, a former Turkish prime minister's provocative statements are causing anger in Greece.

Cypriot president Glavcos Clirides said after meeting with his cabinet that he hopes the UN security council will decide on sanctions against Denktash for ruining last week's talks.

If the Security Council does nothing, Clirides believes there can be no progress in further rounds of UN talks on Cyprus.

Asked about reports that the US and Britain want to avoid blaming the Turkish side for the breakdown, Clirides said they're deluding themselves if the think going soft will get Denktash back to the negotiating table.

Since the talks, Turkish officials have threatened to annex northern Cyprus if the EU talks with Cyprus go ahead. Clirides says those threats are a separate issue, and have no connection to the UN talks. Greece and Cyprus, he adds, are looking at how they'll react to Turkish annexation moves.

Former Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit has provoked a stiff response from Athens, for his remark that Turkey could take all of Cyprus, the Aegean islands, and Thessaloniki, if it wanted to.

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Ecevit's comments lack seriousness, and make it very difficult for the recently-signed non- aggression pact between Greece and Turkey to be implemented.

As far as the Cyprus problem goes, Reppas said that if Ecevit's statements reflect the official Turkish position, then there's no point having discussions about a solution.

Reppas added that the fact that Ecevit's statements haven't met with censure from the Turkish government shows how far Turkey is from being in step with the legal international order, and from joining the modern world.


Greeks have always stood by Cyprus, and always will. That's the message being sent out by the crews of three speedboats that left Athens for Cyprus Wednesday.

Their final destination is Paralimni, hometown of two Greek-Cypriots killed by Turkish troops and mobs protesting the Turkish occupation last year.

Greek-Cypriot Tasos Isaac was beaten to death as he tried to flee from the neutral zone during a peaceful protest on August 11th, 1996.

Three days later, in a protest over Isaac's death, Solomos Solomou was shot dead by Turkish soldiers as he tried to lower the Turkish flag just inside the occupied territory.

On Wednesday a mission of high-ranking Greek naval officers set sail from Faliron harbour in Athens, a symbol of continuing solidarity with the Cypriot people. Three speedboats - sponsored by the Greek navy and the city of Athens - set out to retrace an ancient voyage. 2,500 years ago, general Kimon set off at the head of 200 Athenian warships like this one, to free Cyprus from the Persians. The slogan of the men taking part in "Kimon '97" is "Cyprus is near"

Paralimni mayor Konstantinos Vrytis was on hand at the start of Wednesday's voyage. He expressed his hope that events this, showing Greek solidarity for Cyprus, continue.

Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos gave the crews a flame lit on the Acropolis, and some soil from the Acropolis, both to be deposited at the graves of Isaac and Solomou.

Before reaching Paralimni Sunday afternoon, the speedboats will make stops in three other Cypriot cities: Pafos LaimaissOs, and Larnaca.

A concert in memory of Isaac and Solomou is scheduled for the same day the boats arrive in Paralimni.

The event, featuring Giorgos Dalaras and a number of other singers, is being sponsored by Paralimni. the union of occupied Cypriot city councils, and the Greek navy.


The president of the Council of Greeks Abroad says it's necessary for the 7 million expatriate Greeks around the world to unite with their 10 million compatriots in Greece.

In his message of congratulation to the new board of directors of the Greek- American Progressive Cultural Union, Ahepa, Andrew Athens explains that that is the only way for expats to avoid losing their Greek identity.

Referring to the struggles waged to create a strong Greek-American community, which is recognised at the highest levels of the US government, Athens affirms that the Council he heads will always stand by the side of Ahepa and embrace Hellenism, wherever it is found.

"We can only confront the challenges to and threats against Greece and Hellenism if we stand united",

Athens says in concluding his message.


After six days of cruising around the Greek islands and Peloponese, Britain's Lady Diana winged her way home Wednesday.

Antenna's camera alone found her at the marina of Zea, on the Athens coast, and was with her again before her departure from Athens international airport a few hours later.

Lady Diana's six-day cruise ended at the marina of Zea, Wednesday afternoon. For a week, she, her friend Rosie Mooktan, and the crew of their yacht, the Delagrazia, sailed the Aegean seas around the eastern Peloponese.

Antenna's reporter couldn't get any comment out of Lady Di as she disembarked from the yacht and headed for the car that would take her to Athens international airport.

But she looked rested and relaxed.

Kostas Vardalas, the captain of the yacht, said Diana had been a delightful guest. "She's a good person, calm, happy, not at all sad like the papers say. She got upset at the lies she read in the press. She's a very simple person. She likes to swim.

One of the outrageous stories that upset Diana was a report that she had extravagant meals brought to her during her cruise.

The captain says it isn't true. She at lots of fish, which she liked...and she loved the tzadsiki.

Apart from rare moments, like her time on the Peloponesian beach of Kiparissi, Lady Di managed to elude the cameras and reporters during her vacation in Greece.

Captain Vardalas says they went to the isles of Poros and Spetses as well, but NOT to the island of Kithira, as was widely reported. That made everyone on the boat laugh.

Diana left for London early Wednesday evening on the private jet of millionaire Mohammed al Fayed, father of Dodi al Fayed, with whom she is rumoured to be romantically involved.


The Japanese government is adopting a controversial, pioneering Greek method in earthquake prediction.

And, a new major fault-line has been found in Greek waters, using a new method of detection.

Both those pieces of news came out of the 29th international seismology conference in Thessaloniki.

Japan is going to fund the so-called van system, pioneered in Greece, for eight years.

Panagiotis Varotsos, head of the van team, says the Japanese decided to go experimentally with Van last October, after getting no results with traditional methods of quake prediction over the past 30 years.

In Greece, controversy has been stirred following quakes in recent years, with Van team-members saying they had successfully predicted shakers up to several weeks in advance. The Greek government has never accepted the method.

Another important piece of information to come out of the conference is the discovery of a large, and in geological terms new, fault-line running from the Aegean island of Skopelos to the waters near Volos. The 50-kilometre long, 8 kilometre deep fault was detected applying a new method: scientists, among them Maria Saphazi, used explosives to locate the fault and determine its dimensions. The method has been previously used by oil explorers.

Saphazi told Antenna the fault is active and could cause a large quake - 6.0 richter or over. She believes it was responsible for an earthquake in 1930.

Geophysicist Vassilis Papazachos says the new method is important for a country like Greece, which has so much seismic activity.

Saphazi says people living in the Volos area needn't be alarmed by the discovery of the fault. "It was there before we found it. You can't say when there will be a's the same with all the other fault-lines in the world".

Papazachos says the low level of activity in the area means there is small chance of a major quake occurring in the near future.

The new fault-detection method has been used to find another crack in Greek waters, a fault near Amorgos in the southern Aegean.

Papazachos thinks that using the new method, many more faults will be found in and around Greece, where 50 faults are already known.


In a race to meet the 1997 state budget, the government is looking at making drastic cuts in spending.

Though the government is shy of its 1997 budget targets so far, deputy finance minister Giorgos Dris told parliament that those targets WILL be met.

Areas that could be getting in the way of the ax are public sector hiring, state agencies - some of which could be abolished and their staffs redeployed - and public sector employee pay cheques. Sources say the government could be looking at imposing a pay increase limit of 2.5 per cent in 1998, well under the inflation rate.

Kostas Papantoniou of the public sector union says his people won't take a new round of austerity policies and falling living standards sitting down.

"We'll use collective bargaining procedures to negotiate a REAL increase in incomes next year".


It seems that missing senior US Airman Larry Gonzales was AWOL.

Gonzales missing from his base in Souda Bay, Crete since August 12 was found renting a room along with a British woman in a Peloponese hotel.

The missing American's whereabouts were phoned into the American embassy by the owner of the hotel in Gytheo where the pair was staying, after he saw Antenna's exclusive story about Gonzales' disappearance.

Following the tip-off, four FBI agents went to the seaside town, and staked Gonzales out with the Greek police. He was arrested while having breakfast Wednesday morning.

Gonzales' disappearance had caused much concern because in his communications-related job, he had access to sensitive information.


The chairman of the Onassis Foundation wants the Greek courts to deal more sternly with Tierry Roussel, the last husband of the late Christina Onassis.

The foundation has appealed to the high court to overrule a lower court's decision to charge Roussel only with defamation, and to clear him on charges of bringing false charge and perjury.

The court ruling was delivered after Roussel took the Foundation board of directors to court for malpractice and embezzlement, hidden behind inflated administration expenses.

Roussel lost the case.

Roussel, father of Athina Onassis, wants to have some say in the foundation his daughter will one day take over.

Christina Onassis's will gives Roussel NO contol over the Foundation's money.

On the death of Christina Onassis, her 12 year old daughter Athina became the sole heir to the Onassis fortune. She is set to inherit an estimated 200 billion dollars left to her by her mother when she reaches the age of 18.


In sports, the Greek men's and women's water polo teams both bowed out of the European championship quarterfinals in Seville Spain.

The men up against Croatia in their quarterfinal bout. Bad officiating hurts Greece early on - the Croats get a non-existent goal, and jump out to a 2-nothing lead.

Greece comes back to go ahead 4-2, but Croatia scores the next three goals to win it 5-4.

In the battle for 5th to 8th place, the Greek men lost their match against Spain, 7-3. That means the Greeks will now be playing for 7th and 8th place in their final outing.

The Greek women get THEIR quarterfinal let-down against Spain. The host country wins that match in overtime, 7-6.

The women were to take on Germany in the first of their contests for 5th to 8th place.


A farmer in Crete has rewritten the book on what constitutes a large cucumber. Forget about that impressive foot-long number you once saw at some supermarket.

From the garden of 75-year-old Aristotle Zographakis comes this: it's nearly 3 feet long, and weighs 10 pounds - salad enough for a large assembly.

Zographakis's brother-in-law, Manolis Vasalos, harvested the refugee from Jack and the bean stalk three days ago and took it to the department of agriculture - they'd never seen anything like it.

Vasalos says he's going to plant the seeds from his ten-pounder next year, and see what happens.

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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