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Antenna: News in English (PM), 98-05-05

Antenna News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

Last Updated: Tuesday, 05-May-98 21:23:10


  • [01] Simitis-Stefanopoulos-EMU
  • [02] Kostas Karamanlis
  • [03] Solana-West European Union
  • [04] EU-Tobacco
  • [05] Cancer-Drug

  • [01] Simitis-Stefanopoulos-EMU

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis reiterated Tuesday that the launch of Europe's single currency on January 1st will be an important event for Europe.

    Simitis spoke after briefing the Greek president on last weekend's EU summit in Brussels, where the 11 nations that will adopt the euro next year were officially announced.

    Greece has not met the criteria for joining the euro, but will adopt the Eurocurrency in 2002.

    Kostas Simitis told president Kostis Stephanopoulos that the decisions made in Brussels are in the interest of Greece and the rest of the EU members.

    Apart from the decision to launch the euro, the biggest development in Brussels was the ability of France and Germany to agree to who the first chairman of the soon-to-open European Central Bank will be.

    The Bank will have considerable power, as it will be responsible for directing economic policy in the EU.

    Simitis says that the framework of economic and monetary union is now in place, and the course set. He adds that it is now incumbent upon Greece to meet the targets on inflation, deficits, and national debt that will allow it to join the euro as well.

    [02] Kostas Karamanlis

    The leader of New Democracy is accusing the prime minister of misrepresenting Greece's prospects of joining the single European currency zone in 2001.

    During a press conference, Kostas Karamanlis said that during their weekend meeting, the EU heads of state did not give Greece any binding agreement that it will be allowed to join the euro zone in two-and-a-half years.

    Kostas Karamanlis complains that Simitis glossed

    over a significant fact in his lofty words regarding the outcome of the summit: there is no guarantee Greece will be allowed to join the economic and monetary union in 2001.

    "The only thing in the official EU documents", the main opposition leader points out, "is the sad observation that Greece has met none of the criteria that would allow it to join the euro".

    Greece is the only EU nation that is not joining the euro now even though it wants to. Karamanlis lays much of the blame for Greece lagging behind its EU partners on the Pasok governments of the 1980s and the current Pasok government.

    He adds that what he calls Simitis's triumphal tones following the summit have created a negative impression. What is worse, the triumphalism distorts the truth, concealing the harsh reality that Greece is in danger of being left out of economic and monetary union altogether and being marginalised within the EU.

    The economy is in a tragic state, contends Karamanlis. At the summit in Brussels over the weekend, he adds, Greece was essentially relegated to the European Union second division. That will result in Greece's economy growing progressively weaker, and could eventually threaten social cohesion in Greece.

    Karamanlis thinks that there could be a rise in unemployment if the government continues on its current economic course. He also thinks staying on the current road will lead Greece away from, not toward economic and monetary union.

    Different policies are needed, says Karamanlis, ones that will ensure high rates of development, better fiscal management, increasing the competitiveness of Greek companies, and create jobs. That's not easy to do, he admits, but the experience of other countries shows it is possible.

    [03] Solana-West European Union

    Nato's secretary general may try to broker an improvement in Greek-Turkish relations at the Western European Union conference in Rhodes this weekend.

    According to sources, Javier Solana may broach the subject of confidence building measures in the Aegean with the Greek and Turkish sides.

    At a meeting of the WEU parliament in Spain, Solana spoke to Greek defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who invited the Nato chief to Greece this summer.

    The foreign and defence ministers of Greece and the other nine WEU members will be at the Rhodes conference. The Turkish defence minister will also be there, as Turkey has associate status in the WEU.

    [04] EU-Tobacco

    The Union of Greek Daily newspapers and the Union of Greek Advertising are just saying no to a proposed EU ban on tobacco ads.

    The two groups joined European counterparts in voicing concern over a ban during a tele-conference that linked Athens with Brussels Tuesday.

    Both Greek unions argue that the proposed ban, which would bar tobacco ads from magazines and newspapers, infringes on the right of the public to be informed and choose.

    Stavros Leousis of the Union of Greek Advertisers saysit is the right of the consumer to make an educated assessment of the pros and cons of a product.

    "If one cigarette is 'lighter' than another, or has a better filter, the proposed ban would deny consumers the right to know that, and the right to choose on the basis of adequate information", reasons Leousis. "That is not fair".

    European Editors Council chairman Frank Rogers agrees. He says, "The freedom in which one communicates information pertaining to products

    is closely linked to the freedom of the press".

    The EU will decide on whether or not to go ahead with the tobacco ban later this month.

    [05] Cancer-Drug

    Harvard professor Judah Folkman has come up with a cocktail of drugs that appears to be effective at reducing all types of tumours in lab mice.

    And the treatment could be available to human cancer patients in two years.

    A year ago, Greek doctor Nikos predicted that Folkman's cocktail would become the cure for cancer.

    The miracle of a cure for cancer might just be a combination of two proteins, angiostatin and endostatin.

    This cocktail of proteins created by Dr Judah Folkman and his associates at Boston's Children's Hospital, cuts off the supply of blood to tumours. In mice, the the drugs have caused cancerous growths to shrink and even disappear.

    It is possible that the cocktail could work on all types of tumours in humans.

    But that's a ways off. Folkman says that while his research is quote "very promising, we have to be careful with expectations".

    Simply put: what works on mice may not work on men.

    In the mice, though, the success rate is high - 98 to 99 per cent.

    The development of the drug couplet, which consists of fragments of protein found in human blood, is the product of 30 years of research by Folkman, whose working assumption was that tumours can't live and grow without blood.

    So, what does the future hold? There's no unanimity of opinion in the medical world.

    Dr James Ploda says we don't know if the drugs will work in humans.

    But US Cancer Institute director Dr Richard Klausner is impressed with the results, and hopes to begin testing on humans within a year.

    Greek doctor and oncologist Nikos Lygidakis told Antenna a year ago - at the conference where Folkman announced his success in lab mice - that he believes Folkman's cocktail will save millions of lives around the world.

    And Nobel Prize winner doctor James Watson, who runs a cancer treatment center, predicts: "Judah is going to cure cancer in two years".

    (c) ANT1 Radio 1998

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