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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-11-25

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, November 25, 1998

Resignations are all the rage

THE FATE of the Bishop of Limassol Chrysanthos, who has reportedly submitted his resignation, was the main issue on yesterday's front pages. The rejected resignation of Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides also featured prominently.

Alithia reported that Chrysanthos, faced with the prospect of being defrocked and expelled from the Church, had submitted his resignation to the Archbishop. The Holy Synod had made it clear to Chrysanthos that he would be defrocked whatever happened and his decision to hire top Church lawyers for his defence would change nothing.

In his letter of resignation, the Bishop insisted that he was innocent and that he had done everything for the good of the Church. His dealings with foreigners were aimed at raising money to help people in need.

Phileleftheros said that Chrysanthos had already left the Bishopric where he had been for 21 years and retreated to his country house. There were seven candidates for the vacated post of Limassol bishop.

Meanwhile, the police were ready to press charges against Chrysanthos in connection with three cases being investigated. The Attorney-general may decide not to bring charges after the resignation. A compromise solution would be for Chrysanthos to return the money to the aggrieved parties, it said.

Simerini said that President Clerides' decision not to accept Michaelides' resignation had provoked a wave of criticism from all parties except Disy. Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades defended Clerides and accused his party's deputy Christos Pourgourides of waging a "personal vendetta" against the minister.

According to a law professor contacted by the paper, to keep Michaelides as minister, while preventing him from exercising his duties for the duration of the investigation was more demeaning than to accepting his resignation. There was no provision in the constitution for a minister to abstain from his duties, he said.

Haravghi castigated Clerides in a front-page editorial for "deceiving the public in the most provocative way and making a mockery of institutions" by keeping Michaelides in his position.

Clerides' behaviour, with regard to the allegations made against Michaelides was "at best, provocative and unacceptable". It stressed that Michaelides could not stay at the ministry for the duration of the investigation.

Machi quoted the Minister of Agriculture Costas Themistocleous as saying that water reserves would last for another month and a half. If there was no rain by the end of the year, dams would be completely empty.

The ministry had still not decided what it would do in such an event, Themistocleous said.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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