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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-08-28

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From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English, 28/08/97


  • Italy moves fast to nip a diplomatic crisis with Greece in the bud.
  • The finance minister gets the word from the prime minister: more belt- tightening in 1998.
  • Sotiria Bellou loses her fight with cancer.


The Italian government rushed to defuse a budding diplomatic crisis with Greece Wednesday.

Greek politicians reacted in anger to the Italian foreign minister's claim that there are quote "two governments in Cyprus", unquote. Lamberto Dini at a press conference with the Turkish foreign minister said repeatedly that there are two states in Cyprus.

So far only Turkey has recognised the break-away, self-declared state of northern Cyprus, under Turkish military occupation since 1974.

As we hear in this report, the Italian foreign minister ALSO criticised the European Union's plans to begin talks on bringing Cyprus into its ranks.

The Italian prime minister hurried to repair damage done by his foreign minister Lamberto Dini touched off a diplomatic furor in Athens. After meeting with his Turkish opposite number, Dini launched what amounted to an atack on the legal status quo of Cyprus.

Nearly a decade after the Turkish occupation forces moved into northern Cyprus in 1974, Turkish-Cypriot leader Raouf Denktash proclaimed the occupied territory an independent republic. Only Turkey has recognised it, and the UN has called on Turkey to pull its troops out.

When Dini said at his press conference that quote, "in Cyprus there are two states, two republics, and two governments", journalists asked if that meant Italy was preparing to extend diplomatic recognition to northern Cyprus.

Dini said no, but added that quote, "there's simply acceptance of reality, since the UN recognises two political communities in Cyprus".

In his comments, Dini raised another important and controversial issue, questioning the European Union's decision to start talks with the Republic of Cyprus next year, aimed at making it an EU member in the year 2000.

At UN talks on Cypriot reunification two weeks ago, Denktash said no progress could be made there, unless the EU shelved its plans for Cypriot admission.

The EU said it will not, and Turkey cannot tell it what to do.

Since then, Turkish leaders have threatened to incorporate northern Cyprus into Turkey if the EU goes ahead. And, this week, Denktash even threatened war if it does.

Dini gave outright support to the Turks Tuesday, saying the EU is quote "acting wrongly" in starting talks with Cyprus. The government in Nicosia, he claimed, represents only the Greek-Cypriot community.

Dini's remarks, apart from apparently legalising the Turkish regime in northern Cyprus, also send a message to the Turks that their line on Cypriot admission into the EU has support in Italy.

Dini warned that the EU's plans to take in Cyprus will lead nowhere, and that representatives of what hecalled the Turkish-Cypriot state should also participate in the talks.

The Cypriot government has already said Turkish- Cypriot representatives can sit in on the negotiations, but cannot participate as a government.

Dini had yet another diplomatic gift for the Turks, criticising the EU for excluding Turkey from the next round of talks on EU enlargement. That, even though the EU's reasons for not calling Turkey to join is its poor human rights record, and its belligerent claims on Greek islands in the Aegean. Dini says Turkey is "an inseparable part of Europe".

Greek leaders met Dini's comments with indignation. Athens immediately protested, asking the Italian government to explain what its foreign minister had meant.

Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos termed Dini's comments, "inconceivable". Alternate foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou called them "provocative, unaccepatable and in conflict with EU policy".

New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, currently visiting Cyprus, also called Dini's remarks unacceptable. He expressed the hope that they were made in ignorance and too little knowledge of Cyprus.

The Italian government released a statement reiterating that it recognises only the Nicosia government.

And prime minister Romano Pronti's office issued a statement saying he had had a friendly talk about it with Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis, who asked him to go on the record with Italy's position. Pronti agreed the Cyprus problem should be solved on the basis of UN resolutions. The Turkish troops should leave, and Cyprus should be reunited. And Italy does NOT want the EU-Cyprus talks cancelled.


Turkey will continue its pressure to get the EU to cancel its talks on Cypriot admission, and to include Turkey in the next round of EU enlargement. The Turkish foreign minister will visit Paris in a few days, and prime minister Mesout Gilmaz is going to Bonn and Washington.

But the EU is showing no signs of wilting before Turkish ultimatums. Luxembourg, which holds the EU's rotating chair, has rejected Raouf Denktash's calls for EU talks with Cyprus to be called off.

But there are concerns that the US is giving way before Turkish pressure.

State department spokesman James Rubin says that quote, "the prospects for both Turkish and Cypriot entry into the EU could constitute a constructive element in the promotion of a solution to the Cyprus problem", unquote.


New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis wrapped up his visit to Cyprus with a number of symbolic visits, and honouring a very speical Greek-Cypriot.

Eleni Foka was presented with a plaque commemorating her bravery in insisting on teaching Greek to her school students in occupied northern Cyprus.

Foka has been banned from teaching in the occupied zone.

Karamanlis laid a wreathe at a monument in memory of all those who lost their lives during the Turkish invasion of 1974.

He went to the so-called Wall of Shame, where he wrote "I don't forget" in the visitors book.

And he visited the infamous Green Line, dividing Cyprus to this day.

In a stirring speech, the Greek politician said, "I'm also a Cypriot, as are all Greeks. A solution must be found to Cyprus's problem, this heavy weight must be lifted from the island".


The government says 1998 will be a critical year for the Greek economy.

The prime minister held a marathon huddle with his economy ministers and advisors Wednesday, to talk about next year's budget plans.

Afterwards, finance minister Giannos Papantoniou said '98 will be a lean year, as Greece continues the race to get its fiscal house in order for European Union fiscal and monetary union by the end of the century.

Papantoniou added that in his upcoming speech at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair - the equivalent of a state of the union address - prime minister Simitis will stress that everyone must contribute to the goals of reducing the deficit and lowering inflation.

Papantonioiu would not comment on recent reports that government advisors are urging Pasok to lower indirect taxes on some items, like cars, in an effort to bring inflation down from the 5.5 per cent rate where it is now.


Singer Sotiria Bellou lost her battle with cancer Wednesday morning. She was 76.

Bellou will be remembered as the queen of rebetiko, a form of popular music that has been called the Greek blues.

Throughout her long career and a difficult life well expressed through her music, Bellou worked with a number of other great artists.

The rebetissa is gone...

The music, photographs, and memories remain.

Cancer of the pharynx had taken her most precious gift, her vocal cords.

On January 25th, 1996, the woman who had ended her life in poverty, without even a pension, said on Antenna's programme, "Kentri",

"My life is a torment. The abandonment hurts much more than the pain of my illness.

Born in Evia in 1921, Bellou lived a life of adventure and tribulation.

She lived with her grandfather until she was six, then moved to be with her parents.

At the age of 18, she was wedded - it was an arranged marriage.

And it didn't last. In 1940, she was on her way to Athens, to live, as she said, her life alon.

Looking back, she said, "I wasn't happy in that marriage...some marry for love, some are married off".

In the Athens of the German occupation, she began her career, singing and playing guitar in tavernas, living hand to mouth in train wagons. She was persecuted by the invaders, beaten and jailed by the Nazis.

"It was hard", she said toward the end of her life, "There was great hunger".

Throughout her life, the melancholy inscribed on her face and her song:

"All is a lie...", the song goes.

"When you look back, you're sad", she said late in life...I don't need that at my age, and being ill".

Despite her loneliness and hardship, Bellou was loved as few other musicians.

One of the musical greats who worked with her was Dimitris Savopoulos, who recalls how she was an inspiration to him.

In 1995, he told Antenna, "After the fall of the military government in 1974, when most musicians were trying to appeal to an airy-fairy milieu of artistes, to a climate of cloudy progressiveness, I chose to embrace my traditions, and worked with her on "By plane and ship".

In 1988, she sang at a concert honouring her four decades as a musician. She managed to coax another aging friend, painter Yiannis Tsarouchis, on to the stage to dance with her.

One of Bellou's most famous friends was the late prime minister, Andreas Papandreou. When he was in the hospital before his death, she visited him there. A farewell from one old-time to another.

Like one of her songs goes, "Life has two Doors". She has passed through the second, and will be buried on the same date she entered life: August 29th.


Teachers' unions could be starting the school year with strike action.

Their miffed over government plans to abolish the current hiring system, based on waiting lists.

In their stead, Pasok wants to hire on merit. It also wants to institute a system of assessing teachers' performance.

In parliament, education minsiter Gerasimos Arsenis said he won't budge on the issue. But he will discuss the issue of making it easier for teachers currently working on a temporary basis to be taken on full time, as the waiting list system is slowly abolished over the next five years.

Nikos Tzoulias, president of the teachers' union, responded that temporary teachers are no worse or better than permanent staff members at their job.

They should be made permanent.

Temps demonstrated in the city of Patra Wednesday, with banners calling for "mass hirings" and expressing opposition to the planned hiring changes.

In the city of Drama, teachers protested with the slogan "Hands off the hiring lists". They fear an open hiring system will lead to people being hired on the basis of connections and favouritism.


In European champions' league soccer, Olympiakos has advanced to the next round of Europe's top tournament, by holding Mozir to a draw in Byelorusse. The score there: 2-2. A disappointing performance for Olympiakos, perhaps a little complacent after its 5-nothing triumph in the first match with Mozir.

Two Greek teams have made it to the round of 64 teams in the Euefa cup tournament.

Paok fans celebrated their team's success in making it through to the next round following a 1- nil victory Spartak in Slovakia. Paok advances because of its better, 6-3 two-game scoring aggregate.

Paok vice president Kostas Orfanos called it the biggest victory in the club's history.

In Crete, Ofi advances over Reykyavik of Iceland, with a 3-1 triumph, and a superior 3-1 scoring aggregate.

Ofi gets its first goal off the left foot of Iannis Anastassiou, just 9 minutes into the contest.


After 2000 years, the ancient stadium in Rhodes opened its gates again, this time to contemporary Olympic champions.

"Diagoria '97", the first annual Meidterranean long jump, high jump, and pole vault games opened Wednesday.

Two Greek stars, long-jumper Niki Xanthou and pole vaulter Lambros Papakostas, were among the stars participating.

It was a homecoming for Xanthou, born and raised not far from the stadium, where she used to play as a kid.

She followed up her silver medal at last month's World Track and Field Championships in Athens by finishing first in Rhodes, where athletes from 15 nations are competing.

But what was more important for her was the welcome she got. Five thousand people turned up at a special ceremony to honour her achievements.

Xanthou says winning the silver in Athens, where she set a Greek record of 7.3 metres, was an incredible experience. The home crowd overwhelmed her. She says it's an experience she'd like to relive, so she hopes Athens gets the 2004 Olympics.

Antenna satellite and pacific programing

ANTENNA and the Greek Soccer League (ΕΠΑΕ) have reached a two year agreement concerning the exclusive transmission of the matches of the professional Greek Soccer League, via ANTENNA SATELLITE in the US and ANTENNA PACIFIC in Australia.

OLYMPIAKOS, PANATHINAIKOS, AEK, PAOK and all the teams of the National Championship are coming to ANTENNA subscribers live (where time zones permit it).Three matches per championship day shall be broadcasted by ANTENNA SATELLITE and ANTENNA PACIFIC, for a total of 102 matches per season,

The deal includes the 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 seasons and will bring to ANTENNA viewers in the US and Australia all the action and the excitement of Greek Soccer !!

Αγώνες Ποδοσφαίρου Antenna Satellite
Σάββατο 30-08-97 03:00(Ν.Υόρκη) Πανιώνιος-Παναθηναϊκός(LIVE) 17:30 " Πανιώνιος-Παναθηναϊκός(ΕΠΑΝ) Κυριακή 31-09-97 02:00 " ΠΑΟΚ-ΑΕΚ (LIVE) 21:30 " ΠΑΟΚ-ΑΕΚ (ΕΠΑΝΑΛΗΨΗ) Δευτέρα 01-09-97 24:00 " ΚΑΛΑΜΑΤΑ-ΠΑΝΗΛΕΙΑΚΟΣ(LIVE) 21:30 " ΚΑΛΑΜΑΤΑ-ΠΑΝΗΛΕΙΑΚΟΣ(ΕΠΑΝ) Αγώνες Ποδοσφαίρου Antenna Pacific ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ 31-08-97 03:00(Σύδνευ) Πανιώνιος-Παναθηναϊκός(LIVE) 17:30 " Πανιώνιος-Παναθηναϊκός(ΕΠΑΝ) ΔΕΥΤΕΡΑ 01-09-97 02:00 " ΠΑΟΚ-ΑΕΚ (LIVE) 21:30 " ΠΑΟΚ-ΑΕΚ (ΕΠΑΝΑΛΗΨΗ) ΤΡΙΤΗ 02-09-97 24:00 " ΚΑΛΑΜΑΤΑ-ΠΑΝΗΛΕΙΑΚΟΣ(LIVE) 21:30 " ΚΑΛΑΜΑΤΑ-ΠΑΝΗΛΕΙΑΚΟΣ(ΕΠΑΝ)
Action starts on August 30th, and lasts to mid-May; additionally highlights of all the matches of each championship day shall be brought to ANTENNA viewers in the US and Australia, enabling the Greek communitiesin the US and Australia to follow their favorite teams !

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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