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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-05-14

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, May 14, 1999


Job Centre



/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.

Haravghi, 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 government.

Simerini 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 Upper House.

Phileleftheros 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.

Politis 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.

Machi 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.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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