/Coup fears as Russia plunges into chaos/ THE LATEST government crisis in
Russia, precipitated by the sacking of Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov by
President Yeltsin, was given extensive coverage yesterday.
under the headline "Critical times", said that Primakov's sacking and the
appointment of interior minister Sergei Stepasin in his place, had set into
motion rapid developments. Railways minister, Nicolae Aksenko, who has the
support of Mrs Yeltsin as well as close ties with powerful businessman
Boris Berezofski, was promoted to deputy prime minister. Analysts had said
that Yeltsin's latest move was a "real declaration of war against the Duma",
which is controlled by the Communist Party of Gennadi Zyuganov. The
Communist Party has been at odds with Yeltsin for years and had threatened
to stage demonstrations if the president removed Primakov from the
reported that there were fears of a coup. It cited Zyuganov's call to the
Russian people for calm and his warning about "forces that are capable of
organising a coup". Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority in the Duma (243
votes in favour and 20 against) voted for Yeltsin's resignation. The Duma
was determined to pursue the procedure for removing Yeltsin from power.
Legal circles in Moscow claimed it was unclear what would happen if the
Duma managed to deprive Yeltsin of the right to dissolve the Duma, before
the procedure for his removal from office reached it final stage in the
claimed that the Cyprus government's decision to align itself with the EU
and impose a series of sanctions against Yugoslavia had provoked a warning
from Moscow. Russian ambassador to Nicosia Georgi Muratov supposedly warned
that if the new sanctions were imposed Russian capital might be moved out
of Cyprus. Muratov was quoted as telling Antena TV that the government's
decision could cost Cyprus the $22 billion that moved to and from Russia
via the island. The ambassador said that the concerns of Russian
businessmen who wanted to invest their money in a stable and independent
business centre should be taken into account.
reported that the Finance Minister had submitted a proposal to the Council
of Ministers which provided that the construction, financing and
administration of a large number of public projects would be handled
exclusively by the private sector. This was seen as a good way to reduce
government spending to cut the widening fiscal deficit. The private
companies would be allowed to administer these projects for a pre-agreed
period in order to recoup their investment. The Council of Ministers was
expected to discuss the proposal at its next meeting, the paper said.
reported that new adventures awaited the hotel industry after the decision
of the unions to go on the counter-attack in their dispute at the Lordos
Holdings hotels and to stage a general hotel strike. According to one union
official, the strike would act as a warning to all hoteliers who had
encouraged the alleged intransigence of the Lordos group.
Alithia was the only
paper to lead with the war in Yugoslavia. It said that there was no respite
to Nato's bombing of Yugoslavia on Wednesday as the alliance attempted to
destroy all the Yugoslav army's escape routes from Kosovo.
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