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Antenna: News in English (PM), 98-05-26

Antenna News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

Last Updated: Tuesday, 26-May-98 22:14:56


  • [01] Spanish Royal couple
  • [02] Dora Bakoyianni
  • [03] OTE-"InfoWorld"
  • [04] Track-Kevin Young

  • [01] Spanish Royal couple

    The Spanish royal couple were the guests of honour at a banquet held by the Greek prime minister in Athens Tuesday afternoon.

    King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia, a native of Greece, had a busy day, which included a visit to the Acropolis and meetings with the leaders of the political parties.

    Responding to the Greek hospitality that has overwhelmed them during their visit so far, the Spanish king and queen held a reception Tuesday night for Greek political leaders, diplomats, and businessmen.

    But the royal couple began the day with a visit to the most poignant symbol of ancient Greece, the Acropolis.

    For Queen Sophia, it was a novel experience: the view of Athens from the Acropolis has changed considerably from what it was when she was a child growing up in Athens.

    Accompanied by Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, Juan Carlos and Sophia were warmly received on the Acropolis by surprised Greek and foreign tourists.

    From the Acropolis, the royal couple went to the parliament not far away, where, to the strains of the Greek and Spanish national anthems, they laid a wreathe at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Hundreds of Athenians cheered and applauded the Spanish queen.

    Guided through the parliament by its president, Apolstolos Kaklamanis, Juan Carlos talked about democracy: the 300 Greek MPs represent a people that has had to make difficult choices throughout its history, he said.

    The president of parliament and representatives of the Greek political parties guided the royal couple in the Hall of debates and the Exhibition Eleftherios Venizelos hosted in the parliament.

    Leaving parliament, the queen's next stop was Athens metropolitan cathedral, less than a mile away.

    It was an unscheduled stop, but perhaps the most emotional of the day. It was here that she was married in May, 1962, as the world gazed on.

    As she was welcomed by clergymen Tuesday, Sophia expressed her admiration for archbishop of Athens and all Greece Christodoulos. She asked for a copy of the speech he gave upon taking up his new post recently.

    Sophia also talked with father Ignatios Georgakopoulos, the Greek church's press officer. She told him that she watches his programmes on Greek state television which are broadcast via satellite.

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis and his wife Daphne held a banquet for the royal visitors Tuesday afternoon. The prime minister toasted his guests: "It is a great joy for me to welcome you", he said. "Your wife", he added, addressing the king, "was born and lived in our country until her wedding day. Your visit here is an important event for us. If stands as proof that within the European Union, Mediterranean countries can seek and and find solutions to common problems, like, for example, those associated with meeting the criteria for making our economies as strong as those of northern Europe".

    The prime minister added his wish that the royal couple's visit will be pleasant.

    Simitis, referring to international politics, made an oblique reference to Turkey, which has made a habit of making claims on Greece's Aegean rights. The prime minister said his country attaches great importance to international legality, which means respect for borders and territorial integrity.

    Juan Carlos spoke of the respect for fundamental democratic rights that bind Greece and Spain. Greece, he added, can be a model of democracy for the countries of southeastern Europe.

    The royal couple went their separate ways for a few hours in the afternoon. Sophia visited a nursery she worked at when she was a young princess princess, before she married and moved to Spain in 1962.

    Her warmth shone through, as she held a baby in her arms.

    A woman who once taught the princess when she was a young child remembers Sophia as a simple person, discreet - "she treated everyone as equals", she recalls, "and never complained".

    A former schoolmate remembers the princess as someone who didn't like it when she was treated differently, as she inevitably was.

    Sophia may no longer work at the nursery, but it remains close to her heart. Thanking the staff who work there today for maintaining the nursery, she donated nine thousand dollars to it - secretly, but the news got out.

    While his queen was at the nursery, Juan Carlos meeting with leaders of the Greek political parties and a number of Greek businessmen.

    Later in the day, Sophia visited the Museum of Cycladic Art, where she viewed exhibits dating from three thousand BC.

    [02] Dora Bakoyianni

    Leading New Democracy MP Dora Bakoyianni is calling for a fresh start in the way the country is run. Addressing a gathering of supporters and some 50 New Democracy MPs in Athens, Bakoyianni said it's time for "a new politics".

    The basic goals of government should be creating jobs, fostering economic development, and wide scale privatisations of state enterprises. Bakoyianni, one of the 40-something set of prominent MPs, also said that a change of course is necessary if Greece is to ever join the single European currency.

    While levelling criticism against the Pasok government, Bakoyianni also made it clear that her party would not at present be able to implement the kind of policies she thinks are needed.

    She underscored that there is a need for New Democracy to extend its electoral influence, to quote "ideologically cover the whole spectrum of the centre and right", unquote. New Democracy must reassert itself, she believes, as the only representative of what have been traditionally thought of as conservative economic policies.

    [03] OTE-"InfoWorld"

    The Greek phone company, OTE, is emphasising the need for Greece to develop its telecommunications infrastructure and embrace the brave new world that's on its way.

    The telecom market in Greece will be launching new products and servies in a few months.

    OTE sponsored the first international "InfoWorld" fair to drive home the message that the future's here.

    OTE aims to give all Greeks easy access to the latest information technology, in their homes, at work, and in the schools.

    To do that, it believes Geece needs to extend its international activities in the field and provide consumers with new products.

    OTE's chairman says it all adds up to a new strategy for the company.

    At the InfoWorld fair, visitors can see and try out the latest in computers and telecommunications.

    [04] Track-Kevin Young

    Kevin Young may hold the world record in the 400 metre hurdles, and still have another Olympic appearance ahead of him. But he's flattered to have been signed by Panellinios.

    "It's strange my career's come full circle, highs and lows and come to Athens and be received...for Panellinios".

    The 32-year-old Young has reached the pinnacle in his event, but signing with Panellinios is a unique experience for him.

    "It feels wonderful to be part of a the US there aren't any clubs...shoe company or...."

    On Wednesday, Young will be running for Panellinios in Crete. That's in preparation for the major international meet being organised by the club in Athens on June 17th.

    Among the 90 world-class stars who will be taking part in those games is American Joe Green, who finished third in the long jump in the Barcelona Olympics. Green is already in Athens, combining the competition with a visit to his friend and compatriot Young.

    (c) ANT1 Radio 1998

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