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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-10-09

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, October 9, 1997

More planes and fewer staff

A GOOD variety of lead stories was offered by yesterday's papers in the absence of any major developments in the Cyprus problem.

Alithia revealed the measures, proposed by foreign consultants, that would help Cyprus Airways become a viable concern. The consultants predicted that the airline would last only until the year 2000 if the proposals were not implemented. The new strategic plan, which would cost 300,000, was no different from previous such documents prepared by experts, the paper said.

The plan suggests the sale of big aeroplanes in the airline's fleet and the purchase of more smaller ones; increase of flights on profitable routes, like the one to Athens, and cancellation of loss-making routes of which there are 30; privatisation of ancillary services such as catering and cleaning of planes.

If all the necessary measures are implemented, it would make some 500 staff redundant the consultants said. It was proposed that 170 workers be laid off each year.

Simerini reported that if the industrial dispute at Limassol's Azur Hotel, which has resulted in a 77-day strike, was not solved soon it would lead to general strike at the town's hotels. Unions had promised to take dynamic measures to end the Azur strike, but if these failed all Limassol hotel workers would strike.

Limassol hoteliers described the general strike threat as illegal, irrational and disastrous. Meanwhile the owner of the Azur exchanged blows with union officials, the paper said.

Phileleftheros reports that Turkey has circulated another legal opinion at the United Nations, which was prepared by a German lawyer who claimed that the Cyprus Republic could not enter the EU unilaterally. Referring to the Treaty of Guarantee and the Zurich-London agreements, the German lawyer contended that Nicosia's application for EU membership was illegal.

Two days earlier, it had been reported that Nicosia had secured the opinion of three distinguished European lawyers, who argued that the Cyprus Republic had every right to apply for membership.

Agon reported that the countdown for accession talks had begun as the EU had officially announced the start date - April 2. It added that a draft resolution prepared by the Joint Cyprus-EU parliamentary committee stipulated that the completion of accession talks would not be linked to a Cyprus settlement.

Haravghi devoted half its front page to the promotion of the Akel-backed presidential candidate George Iacovou. It said Iacovou's candidacy was offering "vision and hope". Iacovou was given a warm welcome in Aglanjia and was yesterday expected to visit Lakatamia.

Machi said that an opinion poll conducted for Akel had shown that Iacovou would only be able to take 33 per cent of the vote.

© Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

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