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Antenna: News in English (PM), 98-05-12

Antenna News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

Last Updated: Tuesday, 12-May-98 21:43:24


  • [01] Kosovo-"┼xcessive use of force"
  • [02] WEU-Turkish Defence Minister
  • [03] Skandalides-Kranidiotis
  • [04] Simitis-Christodoulos
  • [05] Sports

  • [01] Kosovo-"┼xcessive use of force"

    The Western European Union are going to buttress Albanian security forces. Meeting in Rhodes Tuesday, WEU foreign and defence ministers condemned the quote "excessive use of force" by the Yugoslav police and army in restive Kosovo.

    The WEU shied away from taking independent action over Kosovo Tuesday.

    All ten full members of the WEU are also EU members. And while some WEU members see the Kosovo crisis as a chance for the organisation to show it is capable of developing into an EU defence organisation, others say it should remain a pillar of Nato.

    Explaining why the WEU is limiting its resopnse to the Kosovo crisis to shoring up security in bordering Albania, German foreign minister Volker Ruehe said "Only if we act within Nato can we keep the US engaged. We need the Americans".

    Nato is considering sending observers to Albania and Kosovo, to increase the pressure on the Serbs. The US and western Europe have already tightened the sanctions on Serbia.

    So far, the western pressure directed at Serbia has not resulted in talks between Belgrade and the Albanian separatists of Kosovo.

    On the contrary, Tuesday saw the first fighting in the capital of Pristina in the current round of tension.

    At least one Albanian was killed by Serbian police, who claim they returned fire from Albanian militants.

    After meeting with ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova Tuesday, US envoy Richard Holbrooke said the distance between the two sides is as great as ever.

    Rugova wants independence for Kosovo, something Belgrade will not grant.

    [02] WEU-Turkish Defence Minister

    Turkish defense minister Ismet Sezgkin talked about Greek-Turkish relations while in Rhodes for the WEU conference.

    And repeated the long-standing demand that Greece negotiate away its sovereign rights in the Aegean.

    In an interview with the Greek daily Ta Nea, Sezgkin says Greece and Turkey should hold an across-the-board dialogue; if that brings no results, then the two countries should take their disagreements to the international court.

    Greece thinks the first step to better relations is implementing confidence- building measures proposed by Nato.

    Greece rejects the across-the-board dialogue call, pointing out that a number of things Turkey wants to negotiate over are Greek territorial rights in the Aegean.

    At a press conference Tuesday, Sezgkin justified Greece's fears: repeating that there are grey zones of dubious sovereignty in the Aegean, he said the two nations should negotiate over those grey islands.

    It was the latest in a seemingly ceaseless diplomatic assault on Greek soil: last month, Ankara asked the EU to withhold funds for environmental projects on four inhabited Greek islands - on the grounds that it isn't clear who the islands belong to.

    Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos took the latest Turkish ploy in stride. Turkey's aggressive behaviour is familiar to everyone, he said.

    There was no meeting between the Greek and Turkish defence ministers in Rhodes, though there had been talk in the days before it, of a meeting to discuss the Nato confidence-building proposals.

    [03] Skandalides-Kranidiotis

    Greek deputy foreign minister Iannos Kranidiotis says that if progress is made in talks on Cyprus, then Greece will advise the Cypriot government not to deploy Russian ground-to-air missiles this year.

    Cyprus wants the missiles as a deterrent to a possible air attack from Turkey in the future.

    Turkey, calling the missiles a threat, warns it will prevent deployment.

    Greek deputy foreign minister Giannos Kranidiotis made his comment tying progress in Cyprus talks to the Russian S-300 missile deployment on CNN.

    Cyprus reunification talks are currently stalled because of Turkish-Cypriot opposition to the start of talks on Cypriot admission into the EU; and the Turkish-Cypriot demand that Turkish-occupied Cyprus be internationally recognised.

    Kranidiotis and Pasok secretary Kostas Skandalides are satisified with the outcome of their meetings with US state department officials in Washington.

    Skandalides says the Americans showed understanding of Greece's foreign policy positions. Welcoming US initiatives to improve Greek-Turkish relations or make headway on Cyprus, he added that Greece and the US agree on what the broad strategy should be for the Balkan and southeastern Mediterranean region.

    Kranidiotis says it is positive that the US wants the Cyprus problem resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions on the issue.

    During the Washington talks, US officials asked that Greece promote the strengthening of ties between Turkey and the EU at the EU's June summit.

    Kranidiotis said Greece wants Turkey to be a member of the European family, but Turkey must first start respecting the rules of democracy like all other EU members.

    The EU has conditioned closer ties with Turkey on Turkey respecting human rights, improving its relations with Greece, and making a sincere effort to resolve the Cyprus isse.

    [04] Simitis-Christodoulos

    Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Christodoulos and with prime minister Kostas Simitis had what was called a substantive meeting Tuesday.

    A number of key issues related to the role of the Church and the state were raised.

    Kostas Simitis said after the meeting that the existing framework for regulating relations between church and state is fine. He expressed the hope that the two will be able to work together within that framework to solve the problems of the Greek people.

    Archbishop Christodoulos said the Church wants to contribute to efforts to help the people move forward, both at a European level and through its work with the orthodox peoples of the Balkans.

    [05] Sports

    In the pro basketball playoffs, there was bad news for Aek going into game two of its best-of-five consolation series, the winner of which gets Greece's third slot in next season's European championship tournament.

    American star Willie Anderson flew home from Athens Tuesday.

    Back trouble sent Anderson back stateside for medical tests.

    Disappointed, he said he wasn't ready to leave, because the season isn't over, and because he's had a great year in Greece, where he feels completely at home.

    Anderson picks Pao over Paok in the championship series because of the improved post-season play of guard Frankiscos Alvertis. Anderson says if Alvertis can keep scoring above his season's average, then Pao should be able to win the title.

    The American star also says he learned a lot from Aek's hot-headed coach, Iannis Ioannides. Anderson says he thought he was crazy at first, but soon realised that he's the way he is because he's not happy unless he wins every game. That, adds Anderson, is an example to be emulated.

    The International 'Tsiklitiria' Track and Field Meet is being revived by the Panelliniios Athletic Society.

    'Tsiklitiria 98' will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Athens on June 17th.

    The event will attract track and field giants and Olymipc winners.

    The games being given a new injection of life after 18 years, were established in memory of Greek Olympic winner Kostas Tsiklitiras.

    Announcing the games Tuesday, Panellinios president Minos Kyriakou said Greece lacks major athletic events. "We must give our champions the chance to compete with the best athletes in the world", he added.

    He also wants to give Greek fans the opportunity to see the international stars perform in the flesh.

    The games are being sponsored by the city of Athens. Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos says his city is already getting ready to welcome major stars from around the world.

    (c) ANT1 Radio 1998

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