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Antenna: News in English (PM), 98-02-19

Antenna News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

Last Updated: Thursday, 19-Feb-98 16:56:53


  • [01] Simitis
  • [02] Karamanlis
  • [03] Imia
  • [04] Cyprus-Attilas
  • [05] PASOK
  • [06] Sports

  • [01] Simitis

    Greece is preparing a full response to a proposal from Turkey that the two nations jointly define their bilateral differences.

    Athens has consistently maintained it will not be sucked into a bilateral dialogue in which Ankara put its various claims on the Greek Aegean on the negotiating table. Sources said after the prime minister met with top foreign policy aides Wednesday that the government is sticking to its position: if Turkey wants to make claims on Greece's sovereign rights in the Aegean, it should take them to the international court.

    The Greek and Russian foreign ministers repeated Tuesday night that they would rather see a diplomatic than a military solution to the crisis in Iraq.

    Gevgeni Primakov and Theodoros Pangalos visited the holy orthodox region of Mount Athos, with its monasteries that have been a symbol of orthodoxy for centuries.

    Welcomed warmly by their hosts, the two men talked about the deep bonds that join their nations. "The profound bonds between us are cultural and historical", said the Russian guest. "You can really feel the ties in places like this". A divine liturgy was held in the foreign ministers' honour in Karyes, the region's capital; and they heard about the problems of Mount Athos from the monks.

    They also visited the monastery of Iviron, and the Russian monastery of Agios Panteleimonas.

    [02] Karamanlis

    The leader of Greece's main opposition party says government errors have resulted in the country missing the first round of European monetary union.

    Greece now hopes to join the Eurocurrency early in the next century.

    After meeting with the Belgian prime minister and the secretary general of the Western European Union, New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis not only expressed dissatisfaction with Pasok's handling of monetary union. He also called on EU members to formulate joint policies to combat unemployment.

    [03] Imia

    A rugged pair of individuals are planning on setting up house on the rock of Plati, near the rocks of Imia. The decision to move to the deserted isle came shortly after the Imia incident in January 1996.

    Michalis Lambropoulos, a Greek fisherman from the island of Kalymnos says he and his fiancee promised themselves they would get married and then set out on their new adventure.

    Forty-eight year old Lambropoulos says he didn't have to do much to persuade his forty year old fiancee Antonella Rossi to give up her job as an economist in Switzerland and to come and live with him in Greece.

    In a report published by daily "To Ethnos", the couple say they are looking forward to establishing residence on uninhabited PlAti, just four minutes by boat from the rocks of Imia.

    Lambropoulos, who is going to raise the Greek flag on a mast he acquired from a shipwreck off the island of Rhodes says he is not afraid of any incidents with Turkey. "The rest of Greece is more afraid of an incident than we locals", he explains.

    Touched by the couple's decision to move to Plati, local authorities in Kalymnos say they will help them in any way they can.

    When asked what his future plans are, the 48 year old fisherman said, "I intend to build a house and eventually a cafe on the rock". Asked who his customers may be, he replied, "Other fishermen and families from Kalymnos, you might not be aware of it, but there are around two thousand fishing boats in Kalymnos".

    They say man cannot live on bread alone. But maybe that's not true. Lambropoulos says they are quite content to make due with what little they have. He adds, "There are people who can live on just lobster. Others who need only bread and olive oil. Antonella and I? We'll, we're not the kind of people who need to live in a big city to have a decent life."

    The industrious couple are planning to be married during Easter. Beaming, Lambropoulos tells Antenna, "You are all invited to our wedding."

    [04] Cyprus-Attilas

    It's time now for part three of Sophia Iordanidou's interview with a former Turkish officer who took part in the bloody 1974 invasion of Cyprus.

    In this segment, Yialtsin Kouchouk, a left-wing intellectual who today lives in Paris in self- exile, talks about the Turkish policy of killing Greek-Cypriots during the invasion.

    Yialtsin Kouchouk attributes the 1974 invasion to errors made by the Greek military government of the time, and to the unbridled political ambitions of Turkey's Bulent Ecevit, who fanned the flames of chauvinism in his country.

    Kouchouk's feeling is that the Turkish army brass didn't want to invade Cyprus.

    "The Tukish army wasn't an experienced army. Perhaps the soldiers, Kurds or Turks, were eager

    to fight, to kill, but I didn't have the same impression for the officers, except I told you some fascists".

    According to Kouchouk, the Turkish army lacked then, and lacks today, experience and self- confidence to go to war. Turkish generals may boast of their capabilities and readiness for a fight, but it's all talk.

    Nonetheless, he is sensitive to Greek concerns about Turkish militarism.

    "We can see the Turkish army was not that powerful. But I know you Greeks have to fear the Turkish army because you have been ruled by Turkish generals for 400 years".

    The competence of the Turkish army in 1974 aside, Greek-Cypriots had every reason to be terrified of the invader, which had come to kill, or, euphemistically put, "cleanse".

    "You as a lieutenant, what were your exact orders for your soldiers and war prisoners?" "I will tell you: the cleaning operatons by definition to clean the village. That is if there were some, you have to clean the village. This is the operation".

    Kouchouk remembers with horror how his troops were ready to kill two Greek- Cypriots they had captured.

    "Once, soldiers captured two Greeks, one of them perhaps was 30 years old and the other was an 11 or 12 year old Greek child. I liked very much that child, he was very brave. His relative was panicky but the child was very brave and my soldiers are ready to kill them".

    Using the admiration of his men and his cunning, Kouchouk managed to ensure that the lives of two Greek-Cypriots were spared.

    "I thought, no wait. We took them prisoner. I was commander, but there was such chauvinistic feeling. I told them, if we keep them alive, we can change them with our prisoners. That they liked. Then I began to communicate with that young man. I suggested he say he wasn't in Cyprus during the war and got it. I told my soldiers he was not here during the war, he was in London....He told them he was from the Manchester part of London....I could save them".

    Many others were not saved however. And today, 23 years later, Turkish troops remain in occupation of northern Cyprus.

    [05] PASOK

    A Pasok MP who's often differed with the government over its handling of Turkey, says there is nothing politically significant in the fact that he held a dinner party for 27 other Pasok deputies.

    Sources say most of Yiannis Kapsis's guests belong to the so-called opposition within Pasok, who have expressed their discontent over foreign policy moves.

    The same sources add that there were also MPs present who hadn't signed letters to the prime minister protesting what they believe to be an insufficiently tough stand by the government with Turkey.

    Kapsis told Antenna that the soiree was merely a chance for everyone to get together over a glass of wine.

    He added though that conversation dwelt on the political situation and the serious thinking going on in the party about where the government is headed.

    [06] Sports

    In sports, and basketball, Paok and Real Madrid joined battle for a spot in the European championship playoffs. And Paok goes through, after beating Real 63-59.

    In European Cup play, Panathinaikos needed to beat Israel's Haboel by more than two points to advance to the quarterfinals of that tournament.

    And Pao does just that, winning 86-68 at home behind 25 points from small forward Nikos Ikonomou and 21 more from guard Frankiscos Alvertis.

    Pao takes on Polish Slasseh in the home-and- away quarterfinal.

    (c) ANT1 Radio 1998

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