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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 00-01-04

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, January 4, 2000

‘Public concern’ over bases nuclear report

YESTERDAY’S papers gave their attention to a variety of issues.

Haravghi said that the Cypriot public was concerned by information suggesting nuclear weapons had been stored in the British Bases. Haravghi said that the information, revealed by newly publicised 30-year-old British Foreign Office files, was of especial concern as government officials said they were not aware whether the information was true or not. The paper also reported that the new century had been warmly welcomed in all areas of free Cyprus, with thousands of people in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and most villages spilling out into the streets to celebrate.

Phileleftheros said that Central Bank director Afxentis Afxentiou had labelled the public deficit as the most serious problem to be faced by Cyprus' economy in 2000. In an interview to the paper, Afxentiou said that in order to combat the problem, the government would have to cut spending, while the House of Representatives should pass tax proposals put forward by the Finance Minister.

Phileleftheros also reported that a decision on the fate of the government-owned Philoxenia hotel would be taken by the end of the month. The paper said the decision would be taken by a Ministerial Committee, and failing this, the Council of Ministers.

Alithia said that the lack of reports on difficulties caused by the Y2K problem was encouraging, but that the government was still on guard for future complications. The paper also reported that all vehicles in Cyprus would have to use unleaded fuel by 2003 in accordance to EU decisions. Alithia said that 70 per cent of the island's vehicles would have to be adjusted by then. Defence Minister Socrates Hasikos will not be inspecting the S-300 missiles in Crete this month as planned, Simerini reported. The paper quoted Hasikos as saying, "This trip will be carried out, but at a time which will not be revealed and neither will I be accompanied by journalists. The Defence Minister cannot work independently of the negotiations being carried out at this time."

Simerini also reported that 128 patients were desperately waiting for organ transplants. The paper said that the figure included 108 kidney patients, including two 15 year-olds, 10 heart and 10 liver patients. The heart and liver patients were in critical condition and had been on the waiting list for months, the paper said: "Their only hope for survival is a transplant as soon as possible."

To Tharros said that the United States would be making every effort for a solution to the Cyprus being found in 2000. Without revealing its sources, the paper's "special report" said that the USA would be closely watching the second round of proximity talks in Geneva and said that Washington seemed determined to take all the necessary measures to ensure progress was made.

Politis, meanwhile, said that the National Guard would shortly be obtaining Russian helicopters. According to the paper's sources, the MIL-Mi28 helicopters were the object of Hasikos' recent trip to Moscow. The paper said that helicopters of the same type were currently being used by the Russians in Chechnya.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

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