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Antenna: News in English (AM), 98-02-17

Antenna News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

Last Updated: Tuesday, 17-Feb-98 10:39:04


  • [01] Primakov
  • [02] Pangalos
  • [03] Cyprus Elections
  • [04] Cyprus-Attilas
  • [05] Farmers
  • [06] Albania
  • [07] Burns
  • [08] Sports

  • [01] Primakov

    Greece and Russia believe a diplomatic solution to the latest crisis in Iraq is still possible.

    The Russian and Greek foreign minister said in Athens that military action is not the way to make sure Iraq rids itself of its weapons of mass destruction.

    Meeting with Greek opposite number Theodoros Pangalos, Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov said, "there definitely must be a neutralization of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but it is our view that diplomatic solutions have not yet been exhausted".

    Primakov says the possible bombing of chemical and biological weapon reserves could have a disastrous affect on the civilian populations of Iraq and neighboring countries. "The consequences could be severe", he explains. "For that reason Greece and Russia do not believe a force of arms to be a useful way of solving this crisis".

    A Russian newspaper recently ran a story in which scientists expressed the fear that chemical and biological weapon centres could release their deadly contents into the atmosphere if bombed, and that those contents could reach far into Russia or the Aegean, depending on which way the wind blows.

    Pangalos stressed that although the crisis has been discussed by both NATO and the European Union, neither organisation has been able to agree to a policy of military strikes against Iraq.

    Primakov said a visit to Iraq by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan could be a positive step, but added that both Greece and Russia believe Annan "must not go there and give ultimatums".

    The U.N. secretary-general has said he would go if he saw hope for a solution to the crisis. Senior aides to Iraq president Saddam Hussein say they

    would welcome such a visit.

    Pangalos and Primakov also discussed the Russian anti-aircraft S-300 missiles soon to be delivered to Cyprus. Despite Turkish threats to stop delivery, Primakov reaffirmed in Athens that delivery will be made as contracted. The only thing that could prevent their delivery, he added, would be complete demilitarisation of the island.

    Primakov also visited the Prometheus Gas Company - a Greek-Russian venture. He called it one of the most pioneering of companies.

    Speaking to the company's managing director Copelouzos, the Russian foreign minister stressed the importance of economic cooperation for both countries.

    "There aren't just economic benefits", he said, "but our financial cooperation will also create a more stable foundation for political relations between our two countries".

    Agreeing, Copelouzos added that the cornerstone of Greek-Russian cooperation in the gas sector is the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline, which is moving along just fine.

    [02] Pangalos

    Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos has rejected his Turkish counterpart's proposal for a summit meeting.

    Ismael Cem made a five-point proposal last week which included a call for bilateral talks on all issues and a meeting between him and Pangalos.

    Pangalos said there could be meetings with Cem, but not on the terms proposed by the Turkish politician, not, that is talks on all issues.

    Athens has been wary of Ankara's attempt to suck it into a bilateral negotiating agenda that would include Turkey's claims on Greek sovereign rights in the Aegean.

    Rejecting what he called political discussion which includes pressure and horse trading, Panglaos reiterated Monday that Turkey should take any claims it wants to make to the international court.

    US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns said Monday that the court is the place for Turkey to take its claim to the Greek isle of Imia.

    "We think that...Imia...position of the Greek government".

    Cem disagrees. He said Monday that neighbours should discuss their problems among themselves before taking them to court.

    But Greece remains firm: it will not negotiate away its rights - there's nothing to discuss where they're concerned.

    [03] Cyprus Elections

    Glavcos Clirides has been reelected president of Cyprus. Clirides won a second term in a run-off election against left-wing challenger Giorgos Iakovou Sunday.

    Pulling in 50.82 per cent of the vote to Iakovou's 49.18 per cent, Clirides won another five-year term.

    It's a term many observers say will be important for Cyprus. This year, the republic will deploy Russian missiles in the face of Turkish threats. Talks are due to begin on Cypriot accession to the European Union. And the United States is ready to start a high-powered push to negotiate an end to the division of the island, which was invaded by Turkey in 1974.

    After winning Sunday's contest, Clirides said there were no winners or losers. Hellenism in Cyprus was the winner. His goal now is to form a government of national unity in which all Cyprus's political parties will take part.

    [04] Cyprus-Attilas

    24 years after Turkey's bloody invasion of Cyprus, a former Turkish officer has talked about the horrors he saw during the invasion.

    Now 60 years old, Yialtsin Kouchouk took part in the 1974 attack on Cyprus as an army lieutenant.

    He recently spoke to Sophia Iordanidou in Paris, where he has lived in self- exile since 1993.

    Yialtsin Kouchouk, a professor of economics and political science and author of forty books, is one of the leading lights of the Turkish left.

    Though he lives in exile in Paris, thoughts of authoritarian Turkey, and what it did in Cyprus, are with him always.

    As a Turkish policy planner from 1960 to 1966, Kouchouk has known key Turkish politicians well: Bulent Ecevit, today the nation's vice president; and Denis Baykal and Hikmet Cetin, both former foreign ministers. He also appears to have been well acquainted with Turkish-Cypriot leader Raouf Denktash.

    As a lieutenant in the army in 1974, Kouchouk was sent to take part in the invasion of Cyprus, he would be left with painful memories of barbarism and atrocity.

    "Did you see any killings?"

    "I saw a wealthy village home.... I was a Turkish".

    Kioutsouk was asked if he saw any mass graves, as another former Turkish soldier reported he'd seen in Cyprus.

    "I know massive death. I don't know about massive graves....I don't know how many".

    Kouchouk also recalls how the bodies of dead Greek-Cypriot civilians were left to lie in the afternoon sun - testimony to the horror of the invasion and its aftermath.

    [05] Farmers

    The farmers of central Greece have suspended a roadblock of the main highway between Athens and Thessaloniki.

    The protesters, which blocked the highway over the weekend, say that their decision to move the tractors off the road and let the traffic through, is an act of goodwill.

    After a protesters' delegation met with government officials Monday, farmers' leader and communist party MP Vangelis Boutas insisted that meeting some of the farmers' claims won't cost taxpayers that much money.

    The government maintains that meeting all the farmers tax, pension, and crop subsidy demands would cost the nation up to 3.5 billion dollars.

    And after meeting with Boutas and other farmers' reps, Pasok secretary Kostas Skandalides appeared unimpressed by the new angle that meeting SOME of the demands wouldn't be stretching the treasury purse too far.

    The protest leaders asked Skandalides for a meeting with reps of all the parties - in the hope that a wider hearing will win them wider sympathy.

    The Pasok secretary rejected that idea.

    "We consider it an attempt to put pressure on us", he said. It has no value when we all know what the problems are and the government has taken dialogue with the farmers over specific issues to the limit".

    Meeting with protest reps earlier in the day, Left Coalition leader Nikos Constantopoulos called on the government to take the first step toward reconciliation.

    The farmers are in a restive mood, meaning there could be more roadblocks. In Crete hundreds of people rallied in Agios Nikolaos and occupied the county hall, demanding state subsidies for vegetable and oil production.

    [06] Albania

    Albania's ruling socialist party's regional headquarters in Argyrokastro suffered heavy damages after two bombs exploded Monday morning. No one was injured.

    The attack is being attributed to parastate groups that support of former president Sali Berisha.

    The explosives were placed in the basement of the two story building. Doors were ripped out, equipment was damaged and windows were shattered by the two blasts that occured within minutes of each other. The explosion also caused slight damage to the neighboring town hall.

    This is not the first time the socialist party headquarters have been attacked by bombers.

    The chief of police fired two guards who were on duty at the town hall during the time of the bombings.

    [07] Burns

    US ambassador to Greece Nicholas Burns had the chance to show off his Greek during a walkabout in Corinth Monday.

    Though only recently arrived at his Athens post, Burns showed he's made considerable progress at learning his hosts' language.

    "Edo poly oraia. M'aresei Corinthos" - It's very nice here. I like Corinth, the ambassador told one shopkeeper.

    Burns and his wife visited the ruins of ancient Corinth, and met with local officials.

    The ambassador once again spoke Greek whenever he could:

    "Sas evcharisto Greek".

    [08] Sports

    Perennial rivals Olympkiakos and Panathainaikos ended the weekend just as they started it: tied for first place.

    The two Greek flagships both have 18 wins against a draw and three losses this season.

    Olympiakos's latest victim is Xanthi. Vasilis Karapialis gets the ball rolling into the home team's net in the 23rd minute. He makes it two-nil at the start of the second half, and Olympiakos goes on to win it hands down, 4-nothing.

    Pao gets a pair of goals from league scoring leader Christoff Vazecha - his 18th and 19th of the season - in getting past Ethnikos.

    Aek slips to three points behind the pacesetters

    as it manages only a draw against Irakles.

    Paok, Ionikos, Irakles and Ofi occupy slots four through seven in the first division.

    And in other matches, Apollon and Panionios are winners, while Paniliakos and Veria play to a draw.

    In probasketball, Pao and Olympiakos are also rubbing elbows at the top of the pro basketball charts. Both teams have 17 and 3 records following weekend wins.

    Dino Radga pours in 27 points and pulls in 12 rebounds as Pao upends Larisa 74-60. Last place Larisa is now 2 and 18 on the season.

    Olympiakos builds on a three-point half-time lead to gun its way past Papagou by 15.

    Aek and Paok are tied for thrid place after their weekend triumphs.

    Sporting has offensive problems that cost it dearly. Sporting nets just 21 points in the first half of its game against Aris.

    In the two other contests, Apollon blows past Iraklio, and Daphne gets a badly-needed victory.

    Olga Vasdeki of Panellinios set a new Greek record in the triple jump with a leap of 14.44 meters at the Panhellenic track and field indoor championships over the weekend.

    Christina Panagou set the Greek record in the 400 meters, with a 54.21 second run.

    Commenting on the games, Panellinios and Antenna president Minos Kyriakou said, "Panellinios did very well. I am proud of the Panellinios athletes and of all young athletes". He added, "The Panhellenic championships were very successful. Of course we're all looking forward to the international track and field meet coming up next week-end. I believe our kids will do very well".

    Also attending the event, US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns said, "Watching the Olympics in Atlanta, I couldn't help but notice the excellent performances and gold medals won by the Greek athletes. Being interested in track and field, I

    jumped at the invitation from sports minister sports minister Andreas Fouras and Minos Kyriakou to attend this event."

    All total, Panellinios finished in first place in both the mens and womens categories, while Panionios cleaned house in the teenage category.

    (c) ANT1 Radio 1998

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