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Antenna: News in English (AM), 98-02-06

Antenna News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

Last Updated: Friday, 06-Feb-98 11:58:22


  • [01] New Democracy
  • [02] Tsochatzopoulos
  • [03] Simitis
  • [04] Flood
  • [05] Farmers
  • [06] Cyprus-Elections
  • [07] Basketball

  • [01] New Democracy

    Two days after three leading MPs were expelled from New Democracy, speculation abounds over whether or not there will be moves to create a new party.

    None of those thrown out have indicated they intend to do so. They've all said it will take more than an expulsion to put an end to their political careers.

    There's plenty of discussion in New Democracy, and among the three expelled MPs, Giorgos Souflias, Stephanos Manos, and Vasilis Kontoyiannopoulos. But the tones have fallen just two days after the expulsions that rocked the party.

    New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis is confident there will be no attempt to form a breakaway part in the aftermath of the expulsions. Karmanlis says it's simple: parties are borne of social need, not of the career needs of politicians.

    Karamanlis pushed for the expulsions after seven MPs failed to vote against Pasok legislation in parliemant Monday. He said they had effectively offered a weak government a crutch.

    Now, confident he's sorted out his troubles in the party, Karamanlis is focussing his sights on Pasok.

    On Wednesday, he discussed the autumn local elections with top aides; specifically, how party mayoral candidates in the nation's large cities will be selected.

    Karamanlis is determined to turn the page in party history. He says he doesn't think more expulsions will be needed, but he won't hesitate to act again if the need arises.

    Giorgos Souflias, one of those expelled, spent the day meeting with the other MPs who've been thrown out of the party. They've decided to coordinate their future political moves. Souflias says his supporters around the country are urging him to start a new party. Though he's not talking about doing that, he intends to tour the country soon to feel out the situation.

    Stephanos Manos is being low key, but also says he's getting positive messages from the party rank and file following his ouster.

    Manyh observers say the position former prime minister Constantinos Mitsotakis takes will be crucial to future developments in the New Democracy camp and its environs. So far, he and his daughter, MP Dora Bakoyianni, have been keeping their cards close to their chest.

    Mitsotakis was spared the disciplinary rod even though he failed to show up for the controversial parliamentary vote. His backers say he will not be involved in any of the different scenarios already circulating, or which are bound to circulate in the coming days and weeks. Whatever he has to say, he'll say it himself.

    In the aftermath of the latest rift in New Democracy, old names who've left the party in recent years are resurfacing.

    There are rumours that Antonis Samaras, who left the party in the early 90s to form Political Spring after a dispute with then-party leader Mitsotakis, is preparing to reenter the party.

    Samaras didn't comment on that, but said what's important is his proposal that an anti-Simitis front be formed.

    And there are rumours that former New Democracy industry minister Andreas Andrianopoulos, who also left the party early in the decade, feeling his monetarist policies weren't being followed rigorously enough, will be meeting with those

    expelled this week.

    [02] Tsochatzopoulos

    Akis Tsochatzopoulos spoke during a tour of the eastern Aegean islands of Rhodes, kastelorizo, and Ro Thursday.

    He said it's important that residents of remote islands feel secure in the knowledge that the armed forces are there to defend them.

    Tsochatzopoulos also spent time chatting with local residents, who welcomed him warmly.

    Citing the high morale of the people on the islands, Tsochatsopoulos added, "Greeks in other parts of the country want to believe that Hellenism thrives on these islands, that there is progress and prosperity here".

    Tsochatzopoulos will continue his visit to the Dodecanese islands over the next few days.

    [03] Simitis

    The prime minister is defending foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos's recent statements regarding Greek-Turkish relations.

    Pangalos recently sparked controversy when he said that Turkey should submit all its issues with Greece to the international court for resolution.

    Some critics in an outside Pasok worry that..that amounts to revising Greece's position, and legitimising Ankara's many claims on Greek sovereign rights in the Aegean.

    In parliament, prime minister Kostas Simitis reassured everyone there's been no policy shift.

    Simitis said the court remains the only institution where differenes between European Union members can

    be resolved. Recourse to the court would make Turkey accept the dictates of international law.

    Added the prime minister: "Pangalos's reference to the court, and his request that Turkey recognise its competence, is completely consistent with our long-standing policy.

    [04] Flood

    One man lost his life in flooding caused by torrential rainstorms in northern Greece Thursday.

    There was substantial damage to homes and businesses in several cities.

    A forty year old man lost his life on the island of Thassos. His car was swept away by a torrent of water. Apparently, he'd tried to cross the raging water, but was swept away. His body was found early Thursday morning.

    Nea Peramos in the region of Kavala was hit the hardest.

    Non-stop rain since Tuesday has flooded thousand of acres destroying crops. Small businesses and houses were filled with water as residents worked tirelessly to avert further damage.

    After heavy flooding caused by the river Ardas spilled over its banks, the trains stopped running in Evros.

    The national highway which links Thessaloniki to Serres was roped off by police - heavy rainfall caused sereral landslides in the area.

    [05] Farmers

    The farmers of central Greece, showing the government they mean business, blocked the Athens- Thessaloniki national highway at three points Thursday morning.

    And, hundreds of farmers rallied in the city of Iraklio, Crete, then blocked the Nikos Kazant-zAkis airport. All flights to and from the city were re- routed through Hania. The farmers said they would keep up the block until early Friday morning.

    During a rally in Kardista located in northern Greece, farmers called on the government to take their demands seriously. They were joined by the city's residents who in a strong show of solidarity closed stores and schools for the day.

    Among other things, the farmers are demanding tax rebates, better repayment terms on state bank loans and better pensions.

    After the rally, the tractors descended on the highway running between Athens and Thessaloniki, cutting off traffic for two hours.

    At one of the blocks, students at Antenna's journalism school were on hand to hear the farmers' complaints.

    [06] Cyprus-Elections

    As Cypriots go to the polls to elect a new president Sunday, Antenna's Nikos Megrelis has gone to Cyprus to look at the men and the issues that will be factors in the balloting.

    There are seven candidates running, among them the incumbent, Glavcos Clirides.

    The campaigning is intense - posters are everywhere, and there are loud rallies and heated TV debates, as the candidates try to sway the 400 thousand voters their way.

    It is customary for commentators to say "this year is a crucial one for Cyprus, divided since Turkey's 1974 occupation of the northern part of the island.

    But this time, the words seem to ring true. In coming months, is seems certain that either real progress will be made in reuniting the island, or that partition will become permanent.

    The issues hanging over the island, and featuring so heavily in Sunday's election are: free Cyprus's imminent admission into the European Union, which Turkey is objecting to; the Cypriot Republic's intention to deploy Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles this year; intense American diplomatic activity over the Cyprus issue; and the fluid political situation in Turkey, where the hawkish military leaders' important role is always strengthened during times of political instability.

    In Greece and Cyprus, politicians doubt Ankara will try to provoke a military episode.

    Says Cypriot president Glavcos Clirides, "I rule that out. But there could be an episode sparked by accident. Even then, foreign nations can be counted on not to let things get out of hand"

    Presidential candidate Giorgos Iakovou also rules out Turkey intentionally causing a military incident. But whenever there's tension, he adds, things can go wrong.

    Candidate Vassos Lyssarides says if there is an incident, it will be dealt with the same way Greece dealt with the Imia episode - that is, things will be brought to a conclusion. In the case of Turkey's invasion of Imia, Greece ensured that the status quo ante was restored.

    Unlike the other presidential hopefuls, Giorgos Vassiliou believes there is a chance of some sort of military incident, especially given the fact that Cyprus wants to install the defensive Russian missiles.

    Cyprus says it has a right to dedfend itself, but Turkey insists it will not allow the missiles to be deployed.

    [07] Basketball

    Greek cagers fared well against their opponents in European championship clashes Wednesday night.

    Olympiakos is at the top of its six-team second- round group after rubbing out Portugal's Porto 73- 54.

    And Aek is also number one in ITS group. Aek gets the best of Haboel of Jerusalem, despite being without the services of injured guard Pane Prelevich. Hatzis steps in to fill his big shoes, leading Aek to a 65-51 victory with 22 points.

    (c) ANT1 Radio 1998

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