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Antenna: News in English (PM), 98-02-24
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From: Antenna Radio <http://www.antenna.gr> - email: email@example.com
Last Updated: Tuesday, 24-Feb-98 16:39:35
 IraqThe Greek government has expressed its satisfaction with the agreement worked out between the UN secretary general and the governnment of Iraq.
Greece has said all along that diplomatic solution to the Iraq crisis would be far prefereable to a military one.
As Koffi Annan prepares to sell his agreement to
the UN security council, and the US buildup in the Gulf continues, Prime minister Kostas Simitis is watching the situation in the Gulf closely.
Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos said Monday he hopes Annan's agreement with the Iraqi government will prove good enough to end the prospect of military strikes.
 PASOKThe prime minister says it's time for a bold clash with entrenched ideas and outmoded ways of thinking.
In an interview with a Sunday paper, Kostas Simitis made it clear once again that he is determined to move ahead with changes in the way Pasok deals with economic and social problems.
Kostas Simitis also says that the battles ahead will not be over things that have already faded into the past, but for things that are coming.
Some observers interpreted the prime minister's comments in the light of the recent tensions that erupted over Pasok youth congress, which was held over the weekend despite Simitis's call for it to be postponed.
The congress dispute pitted supporters of party traditionalists, like defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, against modernisers, like Simitis.
The event went ahead, even though it was boycotted by supporters of the modernising wing of the party.
Tsochatzopoulos says that Simitis's comments in the press were not made with Pasok's problems in mind.
The government called the youth congress illegal. The question now is, will the government recognise the new youth secretariat elected at the congress.
Party secretary Kostas Skandalides says there's no desire on the party of the government for a clash: it wants to find a compromise formula.
 LazaridisThrasivoulos Lazaridis, the mayor of Kalamaria, a suburb of Thessaloniki announced that he will run for mayor of Thessaloniki this autumn.
The candidate, who already has Pasok backing, doesn't want to be a one- party candidate - he wants the support of all the parties.
At a speech in Thessaloniki, Lazaridis said, "More and more people are accepting the idea I came up with over a year ago. To have elections that are not based on party colours. By working together we can secure a more properous future for the city".
 Stock marketA 250-million-dollar investor pullout sparked a two- and-a-half per cent slide on the Athens stock exchange Monday, and touched off new worries about an attack on the drachma.
The stock market pullout came after Mudis, the loan assessment organisation, recommended that greece be given a higher loan risk rating.
The fall on the Athens exchange registered as much as 5 per cent at one point during early trading Monday.
But intervention by the Bank of Greece to offset the foreign currency pullout gave investors heart and allowed the market to rebound.
And there was confident talk from the government. It's response to the Mudis recommendation was to announce that it intends to complete a 1 billion dollar loan deal with ten American banks this Thursday.
Pasok says the Greek economy is on course for meeting the goals that will enable it to join the
European currency early next century.
The government has deflected a number of assaults on the drachma in recent months - and says it's strategy of protecting the currency, like the government's other economic policies, have paid off: Greece is getting closer to European monetary union.
But not everyone agrees. New Democracy spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos says a strong drachma isn't enough to help Greece through the economic crisis.
Back on the Athens stock market, the word of advice from stock brokers to investors is: stay calm, don't be rattled by conjunctural events.
Broker Kostas Dadamanis said of the share sell-off: "I think what we're seeing is psychological, a result of the Mudis annoucement, but there is no reason for people to sell".
Despite the problems on the Athens exchange Monday, inter-bank lending rates did not increase significantly on Friday, rising between 1 and 1.5 per cent.
 SportsOn the soccer pitch, where Olympaikos and Panathianaikos continue to occupy first place in the first division.
Over the weekend, Olympiakos is pitted against number four Paok.
And putting on one of its finest performances of the season, Olympiakos whips its hosts 2-nil, behind goals from Vasilis Kara-piA-lis and Alexis Alexandris.
Pao keeps abreast of Olympiakos with a three-nil trouncing of Athinaikos. League scoring leader Christof Vazecha scores twice in that one - he now has 21 goals this season.
For Aek, which led the first division much of the season, it was another disappointing outing, as it draws for the second week running.
Iraklis proves too much for Ofi to handle. And in the other four matches, as you can see, the home team came through victorious.
On the basketball court, Panathinaikos has edged a game ahead of Olympiakos in the pro ranks. Pao moves out to 18 and 3 on the season, crushing Papagou 90-67.
Olympiakos, meanwhile, is handed an unexpected defeat by Iraklio, which stops the defending European champions 90-79 in overtime.
Iraklio, which spent last season in the second division, is now sitting pretty in fifth place in the first division, with a 12 and 9 record.
For Olympiakos, it could be a costly defeat. If Pao can hang on to first place for the remaining five games of the regular season, it would have the home court advantage if the two teams met in the playoff finals.
In the other weekend games, all the home teams are winners - with its loss to Apollon, Aek falls into fourth place behind Paok.
Katerina Koffa clocked 22.71 seconds in setting the Greek record in the women's 200 meters over the weekend.
Koffa's run at the 5th Balkan Indoor Track Championships in Athens is the best in the world so far this year.
Koffa wasn't the only one to set a Greek record at the meet.
Notis Papoulias also did it, running the men's 3,000 metres in a time of 7 minutes, 43.66 seconds.
And Christina Panagou set the Greek record in the women's 400 metres race. Her time there: 53.88 seconds.
Greece copped 20 medals at the Balkan meet: 4 gold,
13 silver, and 3 bronze.
Olympic medalists Pyrros Dimas, Leonidas Sabanis, and Giorgos Tzelilis set Greek weight-lifting records at an international meet in Patra over the weekend.
In the 85 kilos category, DEEmas beat the panhellenic record in the jerk lifting 165 kilos. He added 192.5 kilos in the snatch, giving him a 357.5 kilo total - good enough for a first place finish in Patra.
In the 69-kilo category, Giorgos Tze-lilis set a Greek record of 172.5 kilos in the snatch. His 137.5 lift in the jerk gave him an overall of 310 kilos, and the gold medal.
The third Greek record was Leonidas Sabanis's lift of 132.5 kilos in the jerk, in the 59-kilo category.
The international meet was the first weight- lifting event for the Greek championships after the International Weight-lifting Federation changed the body weight categories. And they proved they were in very good shape.
Assessing the weekend results, Dimas thinks the Greek team has found its stride - "everyone did well, I'm happy with the way everyone performed".
(c) ANT1 Radio 1998
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