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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-06-25

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

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Friday, June 25, 1999


Job Centre



/ Key decisions expected on Cyprus Airways


THE GOVERNMENT'S decision to liberalise air travel in response to the 48- hour strike by Cyprus Airways pilots union Pasipy, was yesterday's main news story.


_ reported that the government was determined to take drastic measures to protect the Cyprus economy from the consequences of the strike. Decisions were due to be taken at the Council of Ministers today. The Ministry of Communications, meanwhile, liberalised air travel for the duration of the strike, opening up the protected routes -- between Larnaca and Athens, London and Tel Aviv -- to all airlines.

Immediately after the government's announcement, a spokesman for easyJet airline, which belongs to a Cypriot, said that his company planned to put flights on the Larnaca-Athens route for a fare of 36 pounds. Easy Jet's announcement was likely to soften any public opposition to the liberalisation of air travel, the paper concluded.


_ claimed there were many behind-the-scenes contacts aimed at ending the strike. One compromise deal discussed was for a 10-day truce during which the pilots would call off the 48-hour strike and Eurocypria would not announce any promotions of pilots. The effort collapsed after President Clerides demanded assurances that the pilots wopuld not go on strike during the summer.

In the meantime, the few pilots who do not belong to the main union Pasipy, had come under intense pressure to work while their colleagues were on strike. Pasipy warned that the dispute would take a turn for the worse if their colleagues turned up for work.


_ claimed that the UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan, had left the window open for the recognition of the pseudo-state and for confederation in his latest report to the Security Council on his good offices mission in Cyprus. Omitting mention of a bizonal, bi-communal federation and the term 'communities' he raised the issue of political equality and, indirectly, satisfied Rauf Denktash's demand for 'acknowledgement' of the pseudo-state.

He noted that peace efforts had become caught up in "legalistic, abstract notions" and urged the two sides to focus their attention on the content of a settlement. From the report, it was apparent that Annan considered the refugee issue closed as he had not included in the issues under discussion which were security, property and territory.


_ said that the UN was looking for guarantees, ensuring that the planned initiative on Cyprus would not end in failure. During her last meeting with President Clerides, UN representative Ann Hercus did not say whether Annan would invite the two sides to negotiations, because the Secretary-general first wanted to know that these would not end in deadlock.

The reason for Annan's cautious stance was related to the negative position of the Turkish side, which demands the recognition of the north before sitting down at negotiations. The international community, meanwhile, was putting pressure on Annan, thus restricting his options.


_ said that the report by National Guard chief General Demetris Demou about the low quality of senior-ranking officers had caused anger among the hierarchy while the minister of defence tried to play down its significance. The report accompanied the new regulations prepared by the general for the evaluation of Guard officers.

The main feature of the regulations is the provision for the release of any officers who cannot perform the duties expected of their rank. The regulations have also tried to limit "the subjective evaluation" of officers to a minimum.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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