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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-02-27

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, February 27, 1998

Greece threatens to block enlargement

THE TACTICS to be adopted by Greece and Cyprus with regard to the island's EU accession course, as explained by Greek Under-secretary for Foreign Affairs Yiannos Kraniditions at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Ioannis Cassoulides, were given wide coverage.

Phileleftheros reported that Kranidiotis had sent a clear warning to other EU member-countries by linking every step of Cyprus' accession course with that of the other three applicants.

His warning was directed at Britain and other member-states which had tried to make a major issue out of the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in accession negotiations.

Simerini interpreted Kranidiotis' comments in the same way, saying that Athens was "ready and determined" to block the enlargement of the EU in the event that obstacles were placed in the path of Cyprus' accession course. Greece would block enlargement if Cyprus was not in the first group of countries to become members.

Even the communiques for each applicant country due to be read at the inauguration ceremony for accession talks would not be approved by Greece if the content of the one referring to Cyprus was not agreed beforehand, Kranidiotis warned.

Alithia reported that the Greek side's proposal regarding the participation of Turkish Cypriots in accession talks would be ready before the start of negotiations at the end of March. The proposal was the main subject of Kranidiotis' talks in Cyprus.

Cassoulides was quoted as saying that the proposal would be finalised only after the views of the political leadership of Cyprus, the Greek government, the EU presidency and EU Commissioner Hans van den Broek were heard. However, he declined to give anything away about the proposal.

Haravghi led with an Akel statement which called on President Clerides to give an explanation to the people about the contents of the congratulatory letter he had received from British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Akel claimed that the letter proved how Clerides had misled the Cypriot people for a second time.

Immediately after the elections, Blair and other foreign leaders were demanding that Clerides fulfil the promises he had made about the Cyprus problem. In the end, Cyprus would pay the price for Clerides' concessions, lamented the paper.

Agon led with a report about the bank robbery. The police, who are involved in a hunt for the robbers, had questioned several people with underworld connections.

Machi described the robbery as "audacious" and said the culprits had been very professional in executing the crime.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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