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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-12-13

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, December 13, 1997

Cyprus problem 'needs Clerides'

PRESIDENT Clerides's reply to the call for his withdrawal from the elections by Attorney-general Alecos Markides was extensively covered in yesterday's papers.

Simerini published the results of an opinion poll, conducted for Disy by a "well-known research company", which asked who would be the most suitable president. Thirty per cent of respondents said President Clerides, 27 per cent George Iacovou, nine per cent Spyros Kyprianou, nine per cent Alecos Markides and seven per cent Vassos Lyssarides.

Analysts told the paper that the survey showed general tendencies, "which should not be underestimated". The survey found that if Markides stood, he would take only 10 per cent of the Disy support which corresponded to a three per cent share of the vote.

Phileleftheros said that while confusion surrounded Markides's plans, Clerides had offered the central point of his campaign, which was a direct reply to Markides's call for the withdrawal of the politicians of the sixties.

Clerides agreed that the older politicians should make way for the younger ones. The primary concern should not be which generation of politicians governed, but who is capable of solving the Cyprus problem, he said.

This view was supported in a letter from Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades to Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou. It said that the Cyprus problem would be entering its most critical phase and the "experience, prestige, decisiveness and negotiating skill" of Clerides would be of immense value.

Alithia reported Kyprianou's "astonishing" claim that both Iacovou and Markides would handle the Cyprus problem better than Clerides.

This re-inforced the view that if Markides did not stand, Diko would back Iacovou, said the paper.

The paper also reported that Markides had been criticised for his call to the old politicians to withdraw. Dr Lyssarides said Markides's proposal was "insulting to the political leadership", while Liberal chief Nicos Rolandis said it "lacked modesty and humility".

Machi said Akel was attempting "to trap" Diko in a co-operation deal by offering it six ministries in a Iacovou government. It also suggested the setting up of a "directorate" through which the Akel leader and Kyprianou would dictate the handling of the Cyprus issue.

Haravghi said the Euroteam of the Unified Left, which met in Nicosia, unanimously supported Cyprus's EU accession bid and backed the sovereignty of the island.

Agon gave prominence to the speech made in the House of Representatives by Minister of Finance Christodoulos Christodoulou, who said the prospects of the Cyprus economy were very good.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997

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