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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-06-26

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, June 26, 1998

Visit laden with symbolism

ALL yesterday's newspapers carried front page editorials welcoming Costis Stephanopoulos, the first Greek President ever to visit Cyprus.

The visit was described as a "historic event", a "holy pilgrimage" and "an act laden with symbolism" that would lead to "unfettered patriotic feelings".

The lead stories once again focused on the Cyprus problem and alleged scandals that have recently been given publicity.

Phileleftheros accused Turkey of attempting to give new dimensions to the tension that it had already provoked in Cyprus. With this, Ankara hoped in the short-term to secure changes to the UN Security Council resolution on Cyprus and in the long term to scupper Cyprus' EU accession course.

This was why Ankara had officially asked Britain, as a guarantor power, to prevent the arrival of any more Greek fighter planes in Cyprus, to prevent the deployment of the S-300 missiles and the operation of the Zygi naval base.

Alithia said it had expected that the governments in Athens and Nicosia would deny its report of the previous day, claiming that neither President Clerides nor Prime Minister Simitis had been informed about the arrival of Greek fighter jets to Paphos.

It insisted that Clerides and Simitis had not been informed nor had given their approval to arrival of the planes. Both governments were backing their respective defence ministers, which the paper implied had take the decision.

Machi reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, using Cold War arguments, had been trying to influence the Austrian government, which takes over the EU presidency next month, in taking a negative position on Cyprus accession.

Denktash was on a visit to Austria and had made a speech at the Vienna Diplomatic Academy.

Haravghi led with the accusations levelled by Akel deputy Kikis Yiangou against the government with regard to granting permission to the Shacolas group for the construction of a shopping complex in Nicosia. Yiangou alleged that state documents had been forged and that government ministers were promoting the group's interests.

The House Interior Committee had been investigating reports that major relaxations to Nicosia planning regulations had been approved by the government to allow the construction.

Simerini published a document, typed on headed paper of the Limassol Bishopric and bearing the signature of Bishop Chrysanthos. According to the letter, the Bishop undertakes to pay 1.5 billion Iraqi dinars to a German company in exchange for the opening of credit worth $500 million for the purchase of medical supplies and food.

British investigators were expected in Cyprus. The Bishop said that matter was with his lawyers.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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