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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-05-07

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


Friday, May 07, 1999

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/Kranidiotis 'optimistic' on Cyprus talks/ LOCAL stories have started to be given more prominence on the front pages than the war in Yugoslavia. Yesterday only two papers led with the Yugoslavia crisis.

Alithia reverted to the Cyprus problem, saying that the US, Britain and Russia had undertaken an initiative, through the UN, for the resumption of direct talks between President Clerides and Rauf Denktash. The process would start off with proximity talks and develop into direct negotiations between the two leaders, said Greece's deputy foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis. Kranidiotis "appeared somewhat optimistic" about the prospects of a Cyprus settlement and the island's EU accession course, after his talks in London with British envoy Sir David Hannay and Russian envoy Vladimir Chizov. The optimism was based on the fact that there had been some "positive indications" in Ankara.

Haravghi, under the headline "Workers' counter-attack", claimed that the tourism industry would grind to standstill in a few days, as all hotel workers would go on strike in protest against the government's supposed refusal to solve the ongoing industrial dispute at two Larnaca hotels. Unions have threatened to write warning letters to tour operators who are still booking rooms at the two hotels where workers have been on strike for more than three months. Union members working at Larnaca airport would refuse to serve any tourists who are booked to stay at one of the offending hotels, the paper said.

Machi, for the second day running, led with a report about the activities of the religious cult known as the "Disciples of Christ". The paper reported how an Orthodox theologian managed to "infiltrate" the sect and save two Orthodox youngsters who had become members. The theologian said that the leaders of the sect were particularly worried about the coverage of their activities in the media. The activities of the sect had been shrouded in secrecy making it difficult for the Cyprus authorities to establish if there was any substance to allegations that the sect had engaged in espionage.

Phileleftheros said that President Clerides had speeded up his dialogue with the party leaders regarding government economic measures, so that they would be approved before the House's summer recess. The Finance Minister told the paper that his measures were aimed in three directions: reducing public spending, raising taxes and giving social benefits. The final shape of the government's proposals would be determined by the positions that the party leaders would take during their second round of discussions with Clerides.

Simerini said that the United States was intent on imposing a solution by force on Yugoslavia. Speaking to Nato pilots in Germany, President Clinton said that the attacks would intensify and stop only when President Milosevic accepted the conditions set by the alliance. Clinton said he wanted the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo to stop, all Serb troops to withdraw from the province and all refugees to return to their homes.

Politis said that the US had suffered its first casualties in Yugoslavia after an Apache assault helicopter crashed during an exercise. Both American pilots were killed in the crash.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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