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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-09-16

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From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English 15/09/97


  • Georgian president Edward Shevardnadze reaffirms his country's ties to Greece
  • Former prime minister Constantinos Karamanlis denies he promised former Greek king Constantine his thrown back without a referendum.
  • And, Greek-Australian researcher Vasso Apostopoulou brings her promising anti-cancer efforts to Greece


The American secretary of state announced Monday that Cypriot president Glavcos Clirides and Turkish- Cypriot leader Raouf Denktash are returning to the negotiating table.

UN talks between the two men ended badly several weeks ago in Switzerland, when Denktash said no progress could be made over Cyprus until the European Union withdraws its offer to start EU admission talks with the Cypriot Republic.

US secretary of state Madelaine Albright flew to Cyprus Monday, after being told by US envoy Thomas Miller that Cypriot president Galvcos Clirides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Raouf Denktash are ready to meet in Nicosia, and talk again. News she passed on with satisfaction to the press:

"I am pleased to announce...informed of willingness to meet to discuss security issues...political issuess".

For the US, which puts a premium on making progress over the Cyprus issue, the agreement to talk generates hope that the example of the non- aggression pact signed by Greece and Turkey can prevail over the spirit of intransigence displayed by Denktash in Switzerland.

"Today's announcement is in same spirit to settle Madrid a few months ago".

Some of the issues observers say will be on the agenda at the talks are military exercises on the island, and Cyprus's plan to deploy Russian land to air missiles next year, as a shield against a possible Turkish attack.

What remains to be seen is whether or not Turkish Cypriot leader Raouf Denktash, who insists that no progress can be made in Cyprus until the European Union forgets about starting talks to make the Republic of Cyprus a member of the EU, will take a more conciliatroy stance in the US- brokered talks.


Georgian president Edward Shevardnadze met with Greek leaders in Athens Monday, both sides expressing a desire to strengthen the already close bonds of friendship that join their two countries.

Shevardnadze is on a three-day official visit, during which he will be awarded the Onasis Foundation Prize.

Warmly receiving Edward Shevardnadze with a gift - a replica of ancient Mycenean jewellery, Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos said Georgia is a very important nation in the Causasus region. It is also important to Greece, he added, not just because of the ancient ties between the two nations, but because there are some 80 thousand Greeks living in Georgia today.

Stephanopoulos thanked the Georgian president for all he's done on behalf of the Greek minority, like having Greek taught in schools.

Shevardnadze had words of praise for Georgian Greeks, calling them the flesh and blood of the country, and pointing out that there are 2 MPs in in Georgia of Greek descent.

During theie meeting, the Georgian leader and prime minister Kostas Simitis again highlighted the strength of the ties between their countries, signing a friendship and cooperation accord.

On Tuesday, Shevardnadze will receive the Onassis Prize for International Understanding and Social Achievement.

In the 1980s, he played a key role in improving US-Soviet relations. In 1987 he was party to an accord to eliminate US and Soviet medium-range nuclear missiles. He also helped negotiate an agreement to reduce Warsaw Pact and Nato forces in Europe in 1990.


Former Greek president Konstantinos Karamanlis has denied a report that he reneged on a promise to restore former king Constantine to his Greek throne after democracy was restored in 1974.

Spanish Queen Sophia makes the assertion in a book.

She also claims Karamanlis betrayed Constantine's trust and usurped what she calls the king's powers by returning to Greece in the role of saviour in 1974.

But Karamanlis's office calls the claims made by the queen incoherent and inexact.

Karamanlis, who founded the party New Democracy and took the country to free elections in 1974, says he and then-king Constantine had agreed in 1973, that the future of the Greek monarchy should be decided by a referendum after the fall of the military dictatorship. In that referendum, Greeks voted to abolish the monarchy.

Karamanlis also says in his announcement that former king Constantine has nonetheless been raising the issue of the monarchy ever since.

New Democracy MP Iannis Varvitsiotis also thinks Queen Sophia's claim that Karamanlis secretly ordered people close to him to vote against the monarchy, is groundless. "He gave me no such order", says Varvitsiotis.

But another New Democracy MP, Alexandros Papadongonas, says the Spanish queen's book is useful. He feels it'll help shed light on recent Greek history.


New Democracy president Kostas Karamanlis lashed out at the government over the weekend. In Thessaloniki for the international trade fair, the main opposition leader said his part will win the next elections, because the people are tired of the stagnation of years of Pasok rule.

"Government policies have failed", said Kostas Karamanlis during a press conference in Thessaloniki Sunday. "You would expect to see a popularly- elected government moving on large infrastructure projects, but a year after the elections, we haven't seen anything".

"Our goal", he continued, "is to take Greece out of this grey reality, and explain how we can create the tomorrow Greeks are dreaming of". It was the right venue to talk about development. Karamanlis had earlier made a speech at the annual International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki. There, he praised the fair for contributing to the development of economic ties between nations. And, with Greece looking to help the Balkan economies take off, he stressed the need for infrastructure in the region to be developed at a quicker rate.

During his press conference, Karamanlis also gave Pasok low marks for foreign policy. He expressed pessimism about the future of the recently- signed non-aggression pact between Greece and Turkey.

"Turkey hasn't changed its ways", he said, referrring to continuing bellicose talk from Ankara. "I would say it's even worse. Look at what Turkish leaders have been saying. That's why I seriously doubt this pact, this approach, has been helpful".

Karamanlis also talked about the Former Yugoslav Repbulic of Macedonia, urging the government not to accept Fyrom calling itself just Macedonia. He warned the government not to try to alter that position, adopted by all the parliamentary parties in 1992.

The New Democracy leader also had some hard words for opponents within his own party. He told them he is open to dialogue, but that any final policy decisions will be his alone. He says analysis is important, but he has no intentiono of compromising his views under pressure.


While in Thessaloniki, Karmanlis attended an award ceremony sponsored by the Union for Large Families in Northern Greece, honoring the best students over the last year.

The New Democracy leader gave out the awards for the best pupils and listened to the problems faced by large families.

Karmanlis said, "I want to warmly thank all of the large families in Greece. But a special thank you to mothers, for what they have offered our country". He added, "Let's hope that other Greeks will soon follow in your footsteps".

He also coyly expressed his personal desire to have a large family himself.


A Greek-Australian researcher who may be on the scent of a cure for cancer, is going to conduct research in Greece.

Vasso Apostolopoulou recently shot into the headlines, when an anti-cancer she's experimenting with got positive results on human cancer patients.

She says, now we're conducting other research to confirm what we've found and hope to make cancer a thing of the past one day. That's what I say to Antenna. Greetings to all in Greece and especially I'd like to thank those Greeks and who've honored me and given me awards.

In the next round of tests, the scientist hopes to confirm those results.

If the next round of clinical trials go well, then M- FP could become the miracle cure for cancer in several years.

Vasso Apostolopoulou made a breakthrough with the drug, by adding sugar to its principal component the synthetic cancer-causing agent Musin.

It seems that Musin and sugar together trigger the human immune system into destroying cancer cells. The drug works like a vaccine, but it could also be a cure one day.

In initial tests on lab mice, Apostolopoulou had 100 per cent success in reducing the size of tumours. In her first human tests, she also had success. What she hopes to do over the next five years is confirm her belief that musin and sugar can beat cancer. She sent a message of hope out via Antenna.

"Now we're conducting other research to confirm what we've found and hope to make cancer a thing of the past one day. That's what I say to Antenna. Greetings to all in Greece and especially I'd like to thank those Greeks who've honoured me and given me awards".

While initial tests were conducted on women with breast cancer, this time, the field is to be considerably broadened.

"We will be first of all trying this out in carcinoma patients. That means anyone who has breast, colon, lung, ovarian, prostate. (AFTER JOURNALIST'S QUESTION) These patients will be end- stage patients who have undergone all the treatments".

Apostolopoulou's tests so far have been conducted in Australia, but she's applied to the Greek Pharmaceutical Organisation to conduct part of her next trials in Greece. Greek health officials, excited by her results so far, are eager for her to bring her efforts to their country, and she is expected to arrive soon.

Lydia Ioannidou Mouzaka, president of the Greek Mastology Society says her members are eager to talk to Apostolopoulou to have a number of questions answered: How long is the vaccine effective? Is it equally effective on all forms of cancer? How strong a response can we expect to M- FP from human subjects?

Answers to those and other questions probably won't be available until the next round of trials is over.


The 1st International Congress dedicated to famed opera singer Maria Callas on the twentieth anniversary of her death was held over the weekend.

The three day conference in Athens and Epidavros, ended with a series of cultural events dedicated to the memory of a woman who took the operatic world by storm.

Thousands gathered at the ancient theatre of Epidavros to hear the voice of soprano Susan Daniel, working with maestro Nicolao Resinio sing, "I lived for the art, I lived for the love".

The song was even more poignant, for Maria Callas originally sang Tosca's aria under the direction of maestro Nicolao Resinio.

The conference in honour of Callas's memory is to be held every two years. And part of the celebration will be the lighting of a torch of culture, as it's called, in Epidavros. From the ancient theatre, it will travel all over Europe.

Avramopoulos announced that a street in central Athens is to be renamed "Maria Callas". And there is a proposal to open music academy in her honour.

Those who participated in the conference - entitled "From ancient tragedy to opera - what next?" gathered together to throw wreaths into the sea, where 20 years before Kallas's ashes had been strewn.

Maestro Resinio said, "I don't feel sadness. The wreath is a symbol. I believe Maria is still alive through television and the albums she made".

Callas, whose life, but not her voice, was snuffed out at the age of 54, will forever remain in the hearts and minds of those who loved and admired her.


Fireworks lit the sky over the island of Spetses this week-end, as the 1822 naval engagement between Greeks fighting for independence and their Turkish adversaries was re-enacted.

During the Spetses encounter, the Greeks burnt a Turkish armada.

And, as thousands watched, the armada was burnt again, as it is every year, in effigy. This time, Greek Olympic champion Tasos Bou-dOU-ris set the ships atorch, filling the shoes of KosmAs Bar-bAtsis, who set the real ships alight on September 8th, 1822.


Employees at the telecommunications company Intracom organised a concert in aid of Greeks living on the island of Imvros.

Decades of policies by the Turkish government, designed to make life difficult for the Greek islanders have taken a heavy toll. The Greek population has dwindled in number.

Those who've remained are getting a helping hand from Greece: the money raised from the concert will go to building a Greek cultural centre on the island.

Charity aside, Giorgos Dalaras and Kostas Make-dOnas, who sang at the benefit concert, made it a worthwhile evening for all who attended.


In sports, after week two of Greek first division soccer, there are four teams with two and oh records. And all three are so far perfect on defence, having allowed no goals.

Over the weekend, Ionikos makes short work of Panachaiki, getting two first- half goals on route to a 5-nil trouncing of the league's last place club.

With that feast, Ionikos has now scored 7 goals in just two outings. Two teams, Xanthi and Aek have a win and a loss two games into the new season. Proo-def-tikEE is one of a number of clubs have a win and a loss, including Paniliakos, Ofi, Ethnikos, and Veria.


One of Greece's soccer greats died tragically over the weekend. Giorgos Mitsibonas was on his way to a soccer game Saturday when he ran head-on into a vehicle coming the other way, after swerving to avoid a third vehicle that suddenly entered his lane.

No one else died in the accident, but 35-year- old Mitsi-bonas passed away shortly after being taken to the hospital in nearby Larisa.

For the past two seasons, Mitsibonas played for a local team in the town of Tyrnavos, but he will be remembered as one of the best to ever play on the Greek national team. During his career, he also played for Paok and Larisa.

© ANT1 Radio 1997

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