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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-11-19

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, November 19, 1998

Clerides to insist on missile deployment

THE MISSILE saga was back on the front pages yesterday with one newspaper claiming that President Clerides was determined to bring the S-300s to Cyprus.

Simerini said that Clerides had made up his mind about bringing the missiles because of the Americans' stance and political developments. With the military dialogue conducted by Dame Anne Hercus heading for deadlock and the US unable to come up with a mutually acceptable proposal in exchange for the cancellation of the deployment, Clerides had, the paper said, decided to go ahead.

Clerides could change his mind if strong objections are expressed by Greece's Prime Minister Costas Simitis, when the two meet in Athens next week. Simitis' stance would depend on how determined Clerides is to bring the missiles at the meeting. Another issue is who would take responsibility for the cancellation of order.

Alithia reported that the S-300s were the main theme of the Turkish military exercise, Taurus 98-2, which is currently under way in the occupied areas. During the exercise, Turkish F-14 and F-16 fighter jets would target and destroy a model of the S-300 missile system.

In last year's exercise, the model missile system was destroyed by a group of commandos. According to press information, Turkish pilots had participated in exercises in Israel, the object of which was the destruction of missile sites with air-to-ground missiles.

Machi, in an exclusive report, claimed that the two Israelis held in connection with spying had run over a National Guardsman during an earlier visit to Cyprus. The Guardsman was on guard duty outside a military area during the Nikiforos exercise and had tried to stop the car driven by the suspects.

The two suspects ignored his directions, ran him over and fled the scene. The police were expected to hold an identification parade in the next few days to establish whether the suspects were the people driving the car.

Haravghi reported that the Municipalities Union had put the government in the dock over its refusal to increase state grants to local councils. During its AGM, the Union decided to ask President Clerides for an increase in the grant from 0.6 per cent to 1 per cent of tax revenue.

Failure to do this would force municipalities to close down essential services such as refuse collection. The Chairman of the Union, Lellos Demetriades, said there were rumours that the government wanted to limit municipalities' power and warned that this would be the start of oligarchy and a blow to democracy.

Phileleftheros said that Ankara had stepped up its efforts to integrate the occupied territory with Turkey in retaliation to Cyprus' EU accession course. The Association Council was due to meet in December to take more integration measures, it said.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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