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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-10-04

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, October 4, 1997

`Business with a fez'

THE BILL submitted to the House Legal Affairs Committee, which would allow the sale of goods from the occupied north to the free areas, was the lead story in a couple of papers.

Simerini, quoting unnamed legal and parliamentary circles, said there was great scepticism about the content and substance of the bill. Its passage would constitute a legal lifting of the trade embargo imposed on the occupied area, it said.

The circles claimed there would be free trade with the north, and the provisions of the bill would facilitate rather than hamper this trade. The paper also asked what the status would be of "smuggled Scotch" whisky, imported via the occupied port of Famagusta. Would it be subject to duties when sold to the south?

Machi described the bill as "business with a fez". It said the government had submitted the bill in order to appease the European Union and the United States which had been complaining about the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

Phileleftheros led with a related subject, suggesting that US special envoy Richard Holbrooke would try to break the deadlock in the Cyprus talks through a "commercial rapprochement". Concerned about mounting tension caused by the military build-up, the US hopes to arrange joint business ventures between the two sides.

For this reason Cyprus's finance minister and Central Bank governor will attend one of President Clerides's meetings in New York with Holbrooke. The meeting will also be attended by American businessmen interested in making investments in Cyprus, the paper said. In addition, a bicommunal business seminar will be held in Brussels in November.

Agon said the UN had been informed by the Cyprus government about the existence of a mass grave in Yerolakkos, an occupied village on the outskirts of Nicosia. Fifteen Greek Cypriots, killed by the Turks, had been buried there, it said.

Alithia reported that Turkey had already begun planning its measures to prevent the deployment of the Russian S-300 missiles in Cyprus.

The Turkish Minister to the President, Sukru Gurel, a hardliner, said that because Ankara considered the presence of the missiles to be a threat not only to the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, but also to regional stability and peace, it was inevitable that all measures would be taken by the General Staff to prevent their deployment.

Haravghi said that the Federation of Employers and Industrialists would pursue a wage-freeze policy in 1998. This policy would lead to confrontation with the trade union movement and threatened to jeopardise industrial peace, the paper said.

It said employers were trying to increase their declining competitiveness by lowering the living standards of working people.

© Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

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