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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-01-31

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, January 31, 1998

Economy or Cyprus problem?

THE TWO main candidates have been trying to impose their own election agenda - President Clerides wants the election debate to centre on the national problem, while George Iacovou has focused attention on the economy.

Phileleftheros highlighted this difference between the two camps. Clerides said that the US initiative on Cyprus depended, to a large degree, on who would be elected president and warned that if mistakes were made Cyprus would pay dearly. Iacovou, because of his five-year absence, was out of touch with the thinking of foreign mediators.

Iacovou, on the other hand, said that Clerides' five-year term in office was the worst in the history of the Cyprus economy. The absence of strategic planning on the economy and amateurish handlings led to an unprecedented recession.

Alithia, the Clerides mouthpiece, stuck to the Cyprus problem. It led with an attack by Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides on George Iacovou's record as foreign minister.

What had Iacovou done as foreign minister in 1983 to prevent the establishment of the pseudo-state, asked Cassoulides. What had he done about the Turkish settlers. Iacovou was also accused of delaying the EU application because of personal ambitions.

Haravghi, the Iacovou mouthpiece, stuck to the economy. It reported that Iacovou had a vision for the economy that was far removed from the neo- liberal measures, and all their negative consequences,imposed by Clerides.

Iacovou pledged that Cyprus needed a responsible and dynamic economic policy that ensured uninterrupted growth, without ignoring the social dimension.

Simerini, campaigning for the reduction of the number of policemen guarding politicians, said that the "strong reaction from the public" had forced the political parties to embrace this cause.

All the candidates and the parties said that the police should decide which politicians needed protection and what security measures should be taken. However none of the parties were willing to end the existing system of security.

Machi reported that Iacovou's supporters were conducting a "terror campaign" against journalists in an effort to make them show greater deference towards the Akel candidate. It said his supporters had jeered and shouted abuse at Antenna and CyBC film crews which were covering a Iacovou rally.

Agon said that police were investigating the possibility that a French woman, who disappeared shortly after arriving in Cyprus, had been murdered by a taxi driver. The French embassy had confirmed her disappearance, it said.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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