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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-12-25
From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>
Wednesday, December 25, 2002<OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6, 0,0,0" WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" id="e_savings" ALIGN=""> <EMBED src="esavings.swf" quality=high bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" NAME="esavings" ALIGN="" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">
 It's all up for grabs: opinion poll rumbles election scenariosBy George Psyllides
PRESIDENTIAL candidate DIKO chief Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday said more effort was needed to get his messages through to the public, following a survey, which found him trailing substantially both to President Glafcos Clerides and Attorney-general Alecos Markides.
Clerides and Markides have not yet expressed any desire to run in the elections, though Clerides is thinking of seeking re-election for a brief period so that he can complete negotiations for a settlement of the Cyprus problem.
The survey, broadcast by MEGA channel on Monday night, showed that 50 per cent of respondents saw Clerides as mot suitable for president, compared to Papadopoulos' 40 per cent.
Asked who they thought was most suitable among specific candidates, Markides received 43 per cent of answers and Papadopoulos 39 per cent, compared to 46 per cent in a similar survey in October.
KISOS chairman Yiannakis Omirou, who is currently backed by DISY, received a paltry eight per cent, compared to 29 per cent in October.
Both Clerides and Markides have received a considerable boost of support in the wake of the European summit in Copenhagen, at which Cyprus was invited to join the bloc.
The survey showed Clerides was the person most people - 39 per cent - trusted to negotiate a settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Markides comes in second place with 19 per cent, AKEL leader Demetris Christofias followed with 18 per cent, and last came Papadopoulos with 14 per cent.
Satisfaction concerning the President's handling of the Cyprus problem has also soared - 79 per cent - compared to the results of a survey in the beginning of December - 59 per cent - while the same percentage was satisfied with Greece's handling of the Cyprus problem.
Commenting on the survey yesterday, Papadopoulos said the results had not yet been studied but what emerged was the need for more effort to get the messages through to the people.
He blamed the results on the uncertainty surrounding the election scenery, adding his plans would not change if Clerides decided to run for re- election.
Omirou said the situation was very fluid, especially after Copenhagen, stressing that his candidacy was irrevocable.
He added that he would not object to Clerides' extending his term for a while if there were critical developments on the Cyprus problem front.
"(There should be) prospects for a solution in the next months and a greater concurrence of political powers," Omirou said -- "conditions, which for the time being do not seem exist," he added.
Omirou's feelings were shared by 40 per cent of the people questioned in MEGA's survey: they believed it was not possible to solve the problem by the February 28 deadline set by the United Nations.
At the same time percentages concerning the intentions of voters in a referendum on the solution have changed since the beginning of the month.
Forty-three per cent said they would vote in favour of a solution while 42 per cent would vote against.
Earlier this month, a survey found that 54 per cent would have voted in favour and 35 per cent against.
Fifty-two per cent said a solution based on the UN plan would be unfavourable for the Greek Cypriots, though opinions concerning potential complications in the island's accession course have changed dramatically since September.
A staggering 76 per cent now believes the course would be smooth, compared to just 27 per cent in September.
The survey was conducted between December 20 and 21, covering a sample of 504 people.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002
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 Former finance minister diesFORMER Finance Minister Andreas Patsalides died yesterday at the age of 80. Patsalides was appointed Finance Minister in 1968 by Archbishop Makarios, and stayed in office for a further 11 years. He later went on to become head of the Bank of Cyprus. His funeral will be at 1pm on Friday at the Ayios Konstantinos and Eleni church in Nicosia.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002