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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 00-01-13

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, January 13, 2000

Papandreou highlights EU angle

GREEK Foreign Minister George Papandreou=s visit and the comments he made were given extensive coverage in yesterday=s papers.

Politis gave prominence to the decision of Papandreou and his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Cassoulides to prepare a package of measures with regard to the involvement of the EU in the Cyprus peace efforts. The package=s objective is to contribute towards the greater involvement of the Turkish Cypriots in the island=s EU accession process, the paper said. Equally important was the decision to seek an active involvement by the EU in the issue of the security of the island. Papandreou had arranged to meet European Commissioner for Foreign Policy and Security, Javier Solana in order to pursue the matter.

Haravghi focused on Papandreou=s assertion that the Greek government remained committed to a federal settlement. It was apparent that Greece and Cyprus would try to take the Cyprus peace efforts to the EU, which is expected to make specific moves, the paper said. The Turkish side was also planning of taking the Cyprus problem to the EU. Papandreou said the Cyprus problem had become a European issue, after the decision of the Helsinki summit. The EU offered a new framework and new tools for approaching the Cyprus peace efforts, Papandreou said. He repeated that the Cyprus problem was the top priority of Greek foreign policy.

Alithia said the incident that led to the walkout of the Turkish Cypriot journalists had overshadowed Papandreou=s news conference. The incident - foreign ministry officials insisted that the BRT logo be removed from a microphone, which prompted a walkout by Turkish journalists - would be fully exploited by the Turkish side, the paper warned. The incident took place just after Rauf Denktash had announced that the Turkish Cypriot side would have contacts with the EU regarding the accession of the Turkish Cypriots. In an interview given to a Turkish paper, Denktash admitted that the Helsinki decision had provided new momentum for the Cyprus peace efforts and he did not rule out significant progress within this year.

Phileleftheros said that Denktash would be visiting Berlin after a personal invitation from German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. The Cyprus government had expressed concern about this development and has made demarches to Berlin in the hope that the visit would be cancelled. Nicosia feared that the visit would set a precedent and other EU governments could also extend invitations to Denktash. It also fears that the visit would be exploited politically by Denktash as part of his effort to gain some form of recognition for his &gt;state=. Fischer=s invitation, which is part of a package of German initiatives on Cyprus, was not unrelated to the attempts of several EU governments to initiate direct contacts with the Turkish Cypriot side, the paper said. This was why Denktash had completely abandoned his hostility towards the EU, the paper said.

Simerini led with a report about secondary school students being involved in a black magic cult. According to the report, students from a Nicosia lyceum drank animals= blood, used hard drugs and participated in Black Magic rituals conducted by Satanists. The revelations were made by a concerned parent, and had put the Ministry of Education, the Church and the police on alert, the paper claimed. The paper also claimed that sexual orgies had taken place and that Satanist rituals had been held in a Nicosia cemetery. The information had been confirmed by a priest.

Machi led with a report about the stock market, saying that Ablack Monday@ had been followed by Aeuphoric Tuesday@. After Monday=s 10 per cent fall of the share index, prices bounced back on Tuesday, with the index recording a 4.17 per cent rise.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

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