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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-09-17

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, September 17, 1998

Pourgourides charges anger Clerides

THE ALLEGATIONS by Disy deputy Christos Pourgourides that a minister in the Clerides government had used his position to amass personal wealth captured yesterday's headlines.

Simerini reported that Pourgourides had received veiled threats against his life, provoked by his allegations about the minister. It quoted the deputy as saying: "Businessmen have put unbearable pressure on me, warning me to beware of bomb attacks as these seem to be very much in fashion lately."

Pourgourides remained defiant, saying he had plenty of evidence against the minister which he could substantiate. He said an investigation of the personal assets of the minister before his appointment compared to those he had amassed after his spell in government would prove his accusations.

Alithia reported that while President Clerides had the political will to clamp down on any form of corruption, he was furious with Pourgourides' behaviour. The Disy Political Bureau, which met to discuss the issue, had been informed about Clerides' anger.

The paper also reported that the person who had given Pourgourides the information about the minister was a Diko member who lives in England. The information had been given to Pourgourides because he had spoken critically about Clerides in the past. This was a vindictive move, aimed at harming the government minister.

Machi reported that leading Diko members had devised a scheme to destroy the Minister of Interior Dinos Michaelides, in order to stop defection from their party to the grouping that the Minister was about to set up. By attacking Michaelides, Diko also hoped to cause harm to the government.

Diko had already initiated a whispering campaign against Michaelides, the paper said. Meanwhile, Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades had ordered Pourgourides to stop making his allegations against the government because he was giving ammunition to the opposition.

Haravghi reported that the answer of Akel leader Demetris Christofias to government plans for the liberalisation of the interest rates regime had been an emphatic 'no'.

He was worried that as there were would be no guarantees of maximum rates after liberalisation, interest rates could soar and ordinary people would be unable to repay their loans. More time was need to prepare for the liberalisation, he said.

Phileleftheros reported that the Cyprus government had not accepted the start of proximity talks between Clerides and Rauf Denktash, which would have been conducted by US ambassador Kenneth Brill.

The proposal for such talks was made by the US as the Turkish proposal for confederation rendered any direct talks futile. The government took a negative stance because it feared that proximity talks, in the end, would replace the intercommunal dialogue.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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