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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-07-17

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, July 17, 1998

S-300s and A-320s

THE S-300 missiles, again, and the threatened strike by Cyprus Airways (CY) pilots dominated the front pages of the Greek language dailies yesterday.

Phileleftheros reported that the US was preparing a counter-proposal to President Clerides' suggestion, outlined in his recent letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, that a no-fly zone be enforced over Cyprus in return for the government cancelling the order for S-300 missiles from Russia.

The paper reported that the US was not in favour of a no-fly zone but preferred a ban an "provocative flights" policed by the Greek and Turkish sides themselves.

Phileleftheros also reported that the government and CY management was considering forcing pilots to abandon their threatened strike. Other possibilities being considered included bringing in foreign pilots to fly the CY aircraft or chartering planes from foreign carriers.

Alithia quoted Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis as saying "S-300 talk" and the threatened strike at Cyprus Airways were beginning to effect tourism bookings and would have dire consequences for the economy.

Rolandis said the increase in arrivals seen during June appeared to have been a false dawn, with July bookings, especially the expected last-minute bookings, very disappointing so far.

Alithia also reported that the threatened CY pilots' strike had prompted the government to push ahead with a bill regulating strikes in vital services. The bill would be put before the House by October, Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou was quoted as saying.

Simerini also reported that the government was considering forcing CY pilots to fly. The paper said the cabinet would implement emergency rules to get the CY planes off the ground.

Simerini and Haravghi both reported that the US was launching a fresh offensive against the government in an effort to secure the cancellation of the S-300 deal.

Simerini reported that Israel had threatened to "take action" if the military status quo in the region was disrupted.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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