/'Double strike' response to Belgrade good will/ THE BOMBING of a bus in
northeastern Kosovo by Nato planes, which killed 17 people and injured 20,
was given extensive coverage by yesterday's papers.
described the attack as "bordering on genocide". Nato spokesmen in Brussels
"had no information" about the bombing, but a correspondent of the French
news agency AFP, who was in the area at the time, said that he had seen 11
bodies by the bus. Twenty metres from the burnt-out bus - which did not
look like it had been hit - there was a huge crater, 30m in diameter and 15
metres deep. Pieces of the Nato bomb were found in the area surrounding the
destroyed bus, the paper said.
accused Nato of responding with "double strike" to Yugoslavia's goodwill
gesture to release the three American soldiers being held in Belgrade. Nato
pilots had hit the main power station, ensuring that all of Belgrade and
most of Serbia was in darkness on Monday night. This was followed by the
strike against the bus. The attack on the power station was aimed at
weakening the Serbian army and to show that Nato could easily wreak havoc
on the Yugoslav economy. However, ordinary citizens insisted that the
attack on the power station was aimed at destroying civilian morale.
sarcastic lead story, reported that Nato's "smart" bombs had made another
"tragic mistake", but the alliance had refused to apologise. This was the
seventh "horrific" mistake by Nato, taking the number of people killed by
accident to 182.
reported that if the European Union asked candidate countries to adopt
sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia, the Cyprus government would make a
decision based on the national interest. Asked to explain Cyprus' policy on
the Yugoslavia crisis, the government spokesman referred to Cyprus' EU
accession course, which "we do not want to put under question". He said the
government's policy on Yugoslavia was the same as Greece's.
reported that the government's package of economic measures aimed at
improving public finances would be ready by the end of the month. The
government's target was to secure the support of the political parties so
that the new tax package could be passed before the summer recess of the
House, which begins in July. One of the economic measures would be the
liberalisation of interest rates, which has been pending for some time now.
The Finance Minister as well as the Central Bank Governor insisted that the
liberalisation was a matter of great urgency at Monday's House Finance
warned that France and The Netherlands were playing a "new game of
blackmail" regarding Cyprus' EU accession course. Citing "technical issues",
they had threatened to block accession talks. Greece's representative in
Brussels had been given instructions to block the accession talks of the
other five candidate countries if France and The Netherlands carried out
their threat. France's representative in Brussels insisted that the Cyprus
problem should be resolved before any of the accession issues under
negotiation were concluded.
© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999