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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-06-16

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, June 16, 1999


Job Centre



/ Economic stories dominate front pages


A VARIETY of local stories made an appearance on yesterday's front pages, with the government's planned economic measures being given prominence.


_ reported that political parties had made it clear that approval of the tax package would depend on the government having the political will to sort out public finances, modernising the public service and offering social benefits to lower income groups. The parties insist that the government's effort to reduce the fiscal deficit should not be confined to raising revenue.

Minister of Finance Takis Clerides is to have the third round of talks with party leaders next week, in order to persuade them to support the government's measures. At present, some members of opposition parties are divided over what to do, with some calling for the forging of an anti- government front. More moderate members want to co-operate with the government on condition that it adopts suggestions about the economy made by the opposition parties.


_ said the "the hour of truth has arrived for the airports", as the government had tabled a supplementary budget, which would pave the way for the development of the airport in co-operation with the private sector. The government wants approval for 800,000, which would be used to pay the consultants for a study, outlining the legal framework, terms and condition for the participation of a strategic investor in the project.

The paper said that the parliamentary parties would have to take a stand about the issue but three (Edek, Akel, Diko) have already protested because the government had not consulted them before tabling the supplementary budget bill to the House. All three have warned they would not vote for the bill unless the government convinced them of the need for the study.


_ did not have a lead story but its lead headline, "Three hot questions need an answer", referred to three consumer-related stories featured on its inside pages. The first concerned the paper's revelation that the Ministry of Health had neglected to order medication for kidney-sufferers because of irregularities in the tender procedure. The Auditor-general was investigating.

The second incident involved the importation of rotten lamb chops from Brazil, which were repackaged with Spain being given as the country of origin because the import duty was much lower. Lamb cutlets which had passed their expiry date had also been imported. Finally, the paper quoted the head of the Veterinary Services as saying that fish feed from Belgium had been impounded.


_ said that the Public Health Co-ordinating Committee was expected to decide whether to lift the ban on Belgian products suspected of containing dioxin. The committee had studied an EU decision allowing Belgium to export products as long as these were accompanied with a suitability certificate. It was expected that the EU decision would be adopted.


_ said that the Belgian government's attempt at a cover-up of the dioxin scandal had angered many European countries, which now found it difficult to accept the "suitability certificates" being issued by Belgium. Cyprus authorities were sceptical about the reliability of the certificates, but could do nothing as there were no labs on the island that could test products for dioxin.


_ hailed the 8.68 per cent of the vote taken by the Communist Party of Greece in Sunday's Euro Elections as "a very important victory for the genuine interests of the Greek people".

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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