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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-10-25

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, October 25, 1997

Turks raise tension again

THE BUILD-UP of tension in the Aegean and, inevitably, the presidential elections were yesterday's main topics.

Simerini was alone in leading with the crash of the Hong Kong stock exchange, where the Hang Seng index plunged by 1,600 units. The 14 per cent fall was the biggest ever recorded in Hong Kong.

It reported that the London offices of the Hong Kong Shanghai Corporation (HKSC) Bank, which has a shareholding in the Cyprus Popular Bank, as a precautionary measure, had given instructions barring the withdrawal of deposits. The Popular Bank would not be affected by this in any way, a spokesman told the newspaper.

Alithia reported that "new tension" was provoked in the Aegean Sea, after a Greek Navy minesweeper and Turkish Navy patrol boat "collided lightly", during a Turkish naval exercise. Turkish Chief of Staff General Karadayi warned that such an incident could lead to a "serious confrontation".

While the general was issuing his threat, Turkish fighter jets were violating Greek airspace, said the paper. Twelve violations had been recorded, in a two-hour period in the afternoon.

Agon said that "Turkish provocativeness rose in the Aegean". The Turkish boat had repeatedly approached the Greek minesweeper, "provocatively violating every safety limit of the international shipping regulations".

It accused General Karadayi of lying about the incident and quoted him as saying that Greece "had committed serious aggression".

Phileleftheros said that "confusion and deadlocks" reigned in the political party scenery, with regard to the presidential elections. Diko had rejected Disy's invitation to talks for the creation of a common election programme.

One scenario would have Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou withdrawing his candidacy on condition that the same would be done by Akel-backed George Iacovou. This would clear the way for former Finance Minister Christos Mavrellis to stand as candidate of both parties. Iacovou, said there was no question of withdrawing his candidacy.

Haravghi made the activities of George Iacovou its lead story for the third successive day this week. Speaking to Akel members in Nicosia, Iacovou said that the people of Cyprus were demanding "change, dignity and hope". He added that Cyprus should rid itself of the deadlocks, especially in the Cyprus problem, created by five years of Glafkos' Clerides' rule.

Machi attacked US ambassador Kenneth Brill for turning a blind eye to Turkish violations of Cyprus airspace, while blaming the Nikiforos exercise for ending the overflights ban.

© Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

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