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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-01-27

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, January 27, 1999

Government seeks to improve its image

THE PAPERS yesterday divided their attention between the government's image after its decision not to install the S-300 on the island and the looming strike at Cyprus Airways. Attention was also given to a letter allegedly sent by Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides to his European counterparts saying that Turkey should perform a gesture of good will after Cyprus cancelled the missiles.

Haravghi said the current climate surrounding Disy and the government was one of "confusion and agitation," due to their "political isolation" after the "inglorious end of the S-300 missile story". The paper continued that other factors contributing to the public disillusionment included "disappointment in an 'experienced' president," and the "fragile" EU accession process.

The paper continued that the majority of people's rejection to President Glafcos Clerides' policies has direct implications on Disy, whose president Nicos Anastassiades, the paper said, was identified with the government.

Phileleftheros said "Clerides will surprise everyone over the issue of a government reshuffle." The paper said the reshuffle was expected in two to three months' time and was seen by Clerides and his supporters as essential to help fight off the negative impression surrounding the government.

Alithia focused on the government giving the Cyprus Airways unions a "final warning" not to strike. The paper went on to report on Communications Minister Leontios Ierodiaconou's comment that he would stand firm towards Cyprus Airways staff. The paper quoted a television report saying that Clerides fully backed Ierodiaconou's position.

Machi began in a different line, saying that comments made by Britain's special representative on Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, to the effect that Clerides wanted to use the cancellation of the missiles as a bargaining tool were a "deliberate provocation".

The paper said that new evidence showed that Sir David's comments were the British government's answer to a letter sent by Cassoulides. Machi continued that the letter had been sent to 15 of Cassoulides' European counterparts, and said it was now up to Turkey to make a goodwill gesture.

Simerini led under the headline, "The ball is in Turkey's court." The paper said that Cassoulides' aim was to "activate Europe's pressure mechanisms on Turkey." The paper continued that the letter officially informed European governments on the missile decision. The paper said the letter, dated January 7, continued that Cyprus felt the decision was necessary due to Cyprus' position as an EU candidate state.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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