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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-01-10

Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


Saturday, January 10, 1998

Is there a US initiative?

THE PRESIDENTIAL election campaign has focused on a new issue -whether a US initiative on Cyprus exists or not. Most newspapers give the candidates' views on the subject.

Phileleftheros noted that the US initiative was at the centre of the election debate. The latest row was sparked by George Iacovou who doubted that US envoy Richard Holbrooke had called President Clerides on Monday night. He also claimed that there was no US initiative, but a continuing UN initiative.

Foreign Minister Ioannis Cassoulides described these comments as a "moral Watergate" and claimed that certain developments would take place that would force Iacovou to apologise to Clerides.

Alithia said that comments about the initiative by Edek leader Dr Lyssarides constituted a slap in the face for Iacovou. It was plain for all to see that there was a US initiative and ignoring its existence could prove a costly mistake, Lyssarides was quoted as saying.

The paper also criticised the modified election programme, issued by Iacovou after Diko's decision to back him. The only differences with the old programme were a few phrase changes. There was no mention of how the ministries would be divided between the parties backing Iacovou, it noted.

Haravghi said that Iacovou's modified programme clarified the policy he would follow on the Cyprus problem. Iacovou pledged to conduct a more aggressive policy, aimed at confronting Turkish intransigence instead of just exposing it, the paper said.

He also undertook to call a meeting of the National Council within 15 days of his election so that it could forge a strategy for handling the national issue.

Machi said Spyros Kyprianou, so that he could co-operate with Akel, had abandoned his demand that certain conditions should be met before talks were resumed with the Turkish side. The abandoning of what had been the cornerstone of Diko's approach to the negotiations provoked a strong reaction from his party rank and file, the paper said.

Simerini led with a report on the press conference given by Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou to answer criticism of his economic policies during the debate on the government's budgets in the House.

Christodoulou said the objectives of his policies were stability, social justice, economic development and harmonisation with the EU. Accusations that he followed neo-Thatcherite policies were not supported by the facts, he said.

Agon reported that the build-up of tension in the Aegean, caused by continuous Turkish violations of Greek airspace, had reached dangerous levels.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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