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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-09-13

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

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English 13/09/97


  • The government gives nothing away about the 2004 Olympic organising committee.
  • A tribute to Maria Kallas two decades after her death.
  • And, Greece's basketball best honoured on Antenna.


The prime minister held a banquet in honour of the members of the committee that orchestrated Athens' successful bid for the 2004 Olympics.

but no further light was shed on who will head the Olympics organising committee.

All indications are that Kostas Simitis is in no hurry to name the members of the committee.

The prime minister prepared a warm welcome for Ianna Angelopoulou Daskalaki and the other members of the Athens 2004 bid committee, but the occasion was kept social, confirming in many people's eyes that Kostas Simitis is in no rush to name the members of the Olympic organising committee.

There has been speculation all week about what role, if any, Daskalaki will play on the committee. Antenna sounded out a number of cabinet members and MPs on the issue.

On Friday, justic minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos congratulated Daskalaki publicly for saying she worked on the Athens bid committee for the sake of the nation, and not because she expected to be rewarded with a high-ranking post on the organising committee.

Sports minister Andreas Fouras said there are many other people besides Daskalaki capable of taking on the job of heading the organising committee.

And MPs Dinos Vrettos and Panagiotis Sgourides agreed that there are a number of people who should be considered for the job.

Asked if Daskalaki should be on the committee, alternate foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou was non-committal: "The prime minister will decide".

The government will decide, not only who will be on the committee, but what form the committee should take.

One Greek member of the IOC points out that the Olympic charter calls for the Greek Olympic Committee and the city of Athens to choose the organising committee.

What is certain is that there is close cooperation between the government, the city, and the Greek Olympic Committee on the issue. everyone agrees that it is crucial to the success of the 2004 games that the committee is set up right.


Greece will be giving nearly seven million dollars in direct financial aid to Albania and another 63 million in loans for infrastructure works.

Foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos met with his Albanian counterpart Pascac Melo Friday.

The two men discussed Greece's aid to Albania as a way of helping the country get back on on its feet.

Thousands of Albanians were left desperate and bitter when shady investment schemes - which many believed the government had a part in - went belly up early this year, robbing them of their life savings.

The newly-elected Albanian government is banking on Greek support as it attempts to clear the economic and social hurdles in its way.

Melo said Friday that Greek-Albanian relations have never been better. He also made two appeals.

The first, to Albanians living in Greece to respect international and Greek law. The second, to Greek businessman: he asked those who had businesses in

Albania before the crisis, to go back.


New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis met with the delegation of Greek small businessmen Friday to discuss their issues and problems.

The entrepreneurs expressed their concern over the fact that thousands of small businesses close every year.

They also put their claims on a number of issues to Karamanlis, on things like the tax system, state funding programmes, and measures that could help troubled businesses stay alive.


Thursday marked the 1st International Congress dedicated to Maria Callas, marking the twentieth anniversary of her death.

Thousands of admirers gathered for the three day congress in Zappio paying tribute to the legendary opera singer.

Born Maria Anna Cecilia Sofia Kalogeropoulou, Maria Callas took the operatic world by storm.

The uniqueness of her voice and strength of character set a precedent for all opera singers. The range of her voice was staggering. She could sing as softly as a cat walking across a carpet or thunder like a storm.

In a special tribute to Callas, Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos opened the 1st international congress dedicated, noting opera's and Callas's common roots: "Opera", he said, "was born at the end of the renaissance period in an attempt to imitate and revive ancient Greek tragedy."

The unique operatic voice of Maria Callas reached the depths of drama so exquisitely expressed in ancient Greek tragedy.

Reminiscing on her career, close friend Stelios GalatOpoulos recalls her debut performance at the ancient theater in Epidavros in 1959: "I saw see Maria walk toward the stage all alone. She looked very dejected and frightened. I thought to myself, she might not make it tonight. But the moment she came on stage, the first words of the song came out of her mouth like thunder!".

Many Well-known musicians and singers attended the event in Athens, paying tribute to the memory of Callas. Maestro Nicolao Resinio was there.

Mezzo soprano Kiki Morfoniou, full of emotion, recalled how Callas had helped her during her first performance.

Bassist Paolo Mondarsolo and Nikos Zahariou, accompanied by soprano Vasso Papantoniou, also stopped by to honour her memory.

The voice of Callas was not confined to the stage, it made it on to the big screen.

"There's an aria of hers in the film Philadelphia' starring Tom Hanks", points out John Ardoyn who writes books on Callas. He remembers fondly: "Her voice, she spoke directly to the hearts of people".

Callas was so adored by her fans that upon her death someone actually stole her ashes. They were eventually restored to her family, and then scattered in the Aegean near Epidavros.

On Saturday, September 13th, a vessel will sail the same route, enabling fans to toss wreathes into the sea her memory.

Callas' natural talent was combined with instinct and intuition, but her main virtue was her honesty. She led a very lonely life but will forever remain in the hearts and minds of all who loved and admired her.

If Maria Callas were alive today, she would be 74 years old.


The city of Paris is also honouring Kallas on the 20th anniversary of her death. The Hotel de Ville - the city hall in Paris, honoured the star with a concert Thursday night.

The city is also naming a square after her. But their's a tragic note there: the square is near the tunnel where Lady Diana was killed, so the renaming of the square has been postponed.

Paris has also honoured another great Greek star.

Internationally-acclaimed singer Nana Mous-chouri, also a member of the European parliament for New Democracy, has been awarded the Legion of Honour by French president Jacques Chirac.

Mouschouri received the award for work she's done on behalf of UNICEF. The singer is particularly sensitive when it comes to children, and has been an advocate of their rights for years.


David Rivers has been named Greece's top basketball player for the 1996-97 season. Rivers, is the speedy ball-handling guard who helped Olympiakos win the European and Greek championships, and the Greek cupship, last season.

The former Los Angeles Laker was one of many players honoured for their league-leading performances last year, at the annual pro basketball award ceremony, broadcast live and organised by Antenna television.

David Rivers is the 1996-97 MVP, well-deserved for his contribution to Olympiakos's spectacular season, in which in dominated opponents in Greece and all over Europe.

Alfonso Ford was honoured for leading the league in scoring; Samir Gounta, the top rebounder; and assist leader Nikos VetOUlas.

Basketball greats Jose Ortith, Angelos KoroniOs, and Nikos KaourEEdis were singled out for some of the unforgettable moments they gave the fans last season.

In recent years, the Greek league has developed into Europe's strongest. Greek teams have won the European title the last two years running, and Greek basketball players' union president Thodoros KaratzAs promises that Greece will stay on top.

The man who has given Greeks in the US and in Australia the chance to watch Greek basketball is Antenna president Minos Kyriakou. Attending the award ceremony said his only desire is that this season is as good as the last, and that the number one station, Antenna, which succeeded in getting Greek games out to Greeks around the globe, continues to carry the games of Europe's number one league.


Greek members of Greenpeace found a unique way of communicating their belief that solar power should be used more widely in their homeland of sunshine.

Development ministry officials arriving at work found a thousand miniature cardboard houses in their path Friday.

Greenpeace wants the government to instal a thousand solar units in houses and office buildings in Athens.

Greenpeace spokesman Stelios Psomas explains, "Greece is the perfect country for the solar energy, especially for sophisticated solar energy systems, like the photo-voltaic system, which allow you to make electricity at home or at work".

Pso-mAs believes the only thing consumers need to go solar is a financial incentive from the state, since initial installation costs are high.

The Greek energy ministry plans to use European Union funds to finance programmes concerned with saving energy, and developing renewable energy sources.

The cost of the programmes is estimated at 530 million dollars.


Antenna also gives viewers in the US and Australia the opporutunity to follow Greece's first division soccer matches.

And one of Greece's top teams is going international. AEK of Athens is being sold to an English-based multi-national company Richmond.

The firm is expected to seal a deal that will transfer the majority of shares in the club from Michalis Trochanas to it.

The total price tag is just over 20 million dollars. Just over a third of that sum will go to costs incurred in completing the deal.


U2 is playing in Thessaloniki on September 26th, and the Irish band's date is already sold out.

The rush started Thursday. More tickets were sent to Thessaloniki for Friday's sales in an armoured car.

Within 45 minutes, the remainder had been snapped up as people waited in long lines.

Some of the would-be concert attenders who couldn't get to the line because they live in other cities found a way around their problem.

This woman says her kids, who live in Athens, sent her out to do their ticket shopping.

In all, 48 thousand tickets have been sold for the U2 concert.

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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