NEWS

Row over composer spills over

The US was drawn yesterday into a storm over controversial remarks by Greece’s most famous composer, condemned by Israeli and Jewish officials as anti-Semitic. This followed yesterday’s attack by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas on US Ambassador in Athens Thomas Miller, for criticizing Mikis Theodorakis. «Particular care is required of people who have a specific mission in Greece and whose duties, in our opinion, do not include criticizing remarks by Greek citizens – especially when these remarks do not concern the country they represent,» Protopapas said. Miller told private Antenna TV on Wednesday that he found it «sad and regrettable that a man of [Theodorakis’s] stature makes… those kinds of comments» – referring to the composer’s contention, at a November 4 book launch: «Today we may say that this small nation is at the root of evil and not of good.» Theodorakis said he had been speaking of Israeli government policies. A State Department spokesman commented yesterday that «it is not wrong to speak out about anti-Semitism.»