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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-09-16

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, September 16, 1998

Eleventh hour hotel deal averts strike

THE DEAL reached between the Cyprus Hoteliers Association and unions over the renewal of collective agreements was the lead story in two newspapers.

Haravghi reported that a general strike at hotels had been averted late on Monday afternoon. Earlier in the day, staff at 12 hotels had gone on strike. Hotel workers had every right to feel satisfied with the collective agreement which was to be signed yesterday and would be in force for the next four years.

The deal was reached at a meeting between the board of the Hoteliers Association and representatives of the two unions, Peo and Sek. The Association had decided to negotiate directly with the two unions rather than to rely on the Labour Ministry's mediation.

Machi reported that the tourism industry had been saved at the eleventh hour, after many days and nights of meetings and pleas from government ministers.

The Hoteliers' Association had agreed to the same deal that had been accepted by the other hoteliers' association representing five-star hotels. The only difference was that the agreement would be in force for four instead of five years.

Alithia reported that the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Nicos Rolandis was determined to secure the sacking of the board members of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) because "they are unsuitable for the job".

Rolandis had no confidence in the board which, in the future, would be responsible for the purchase of equipment worth half a billion pounds. How could they be trusted when they paid 1.5 million for land that was worth 800,000, he asked.

Simerini gave prominence to Attorney-general Alecos Markides' suggestion for combatting corruption. Markides had said the cure for scandals was transparency. He suggested that a special body be set up to look at applications for building relaxations and changes of town planning zones. This body would make all its decisions public.

Markides made his suggestion after meeting the Chairman of the Technical Chamber, Nicos Mesaritis, who alleged that many people had become millionaires overnight thanks to building relaxations and changes of town planning zones arbitrarily decided by the Ministry of Interior.

Phileleftheros stuck with the Cyprus problem, saying that the Turkish side was exploiting the absence of any peace initiatives, by saying that its proposal for a confederation was the last chance for a settlement.

Turkey had been arguing that a confederation was not outside the UN framework for a settlement. Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that the last 25 years had shown that the parameters that had been decided for a certain period were not useful today, and that a confederation was a form of federation.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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