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Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-06-03

Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>

CONTENTS

THURSDAY 3 JUNE 1999

  • [01] HEADLINES
  • [02] YUGO PEACE?
  • [03] YUGO WAR
  • [04] OCALAN TRIAL
  • [05] KAS EXHUMATION
  • [06] PRESPAL DEFENCE
  • [07] HOUSE GRIEVANCE
  • [08] FINANCE PACKAGE
  • [09] HOUSE HEALTH PLAN
  • [10] NAT ATH TEAM
  • [11] WEATHER

  • [01] HEADLINES

    Yugoslavia's government and parliament accept an international peace plan for Kosovo, but NATO announces that it will continue bombing Serbia until it fully complies with alliance conditions;

    India steps up security measures in its confrontation with Pakistan;

    Defence lawyers for Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan boycott today's court hearings;

    Foreign Minister Kasoulides state that those who lost their lives during the 1974 coup in Cyprus are not included in the list of missing persons;

    A cross-party conference on defence matters was held at the Presidential Palace in the absence of key factors;

    and...

    The Government submits proposals aimed at giving a fresh impetus to the island's economy, while the controversial National Health Plan is presented to the relevant House committee.

    [02] YUGO PEACE?

    Both the Yugoslav government and the country's parliament today accepted an international peace plan for Kosovo, potentially clearing the way for the end of the conflict with NATO.

    A spokesman for EU envoy Martti Ahtisaari said the Finnish president was leaving Belgrade for Cologne to report to a European Union summit on the success of talks which he and Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin held with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

    The text of the peace plan specifies an international security presence in Kosovo under a united command with a "fundamental" role for NATO, while prior to its implementation, all Yugoslav security forces would withdraw from Kosovo. Some would be allowed back in but their numbers would be limited to "hundreds, and not thousands", according to the document.

    [03] YUGO WAR

    NATO meanwhile announced today that it would continue bombing Serbia until President Slobodan Milosevic fully complies with the five peace conditions it has laid down.

    "Those conditions are still there, have not been watered down, or tampered with," spokesman Jamie Shea said in reply to a question at NATO's morning briefing, adding that alliance aircraft focused their overnight attacks on Yugoslav security forces and special police fighting ethnic Albanian guerrillas in the Mount Pastrik area of southwestern Kosovo. In its morning operational report NATO said its aircraft had taken advantage of yesterday's good weather to fly 644 sorties, including 239 strike raids and 69 sorties to suppress air defence missions. Among targets listed in the report were a command post in Pristina, an ammunition dump at Kursumlija, airfields at Ponikve and Batajnica and a highway bridge at Velika Oraste.

    Belgrade residents enjoyed a rare quiet night as international envoys prepared for peace talks in the city.

    [04] OCALAN TRIAL

    Lawyers defending Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan against treason charges failed to present themselves in court today, blaming a hostile atmosphere and pressure from police.

    The defence team said they had been thrown out of the hotel where they and a number of Ocalan's relatives had been staying in the nearby city of Bursa after the owner had received death threats, and added that no other hotel was willing to accept them. Last month, Ocalan's lawyers alleged that police entrusted with their security had taken them to a remote location and had beaten them after a hearing in Ankara. Two of the Kurdish leader's senior attorneys left the courtroom in protest after Monday's initial hearing because they said the Turkish state was riding roughshod over normal legal procedure.

    Ocalan is charged with the deaths of 29,000 soldiers, Kurd rebels and civilians killed in his 14-year-old armed campaign for Kurdish self-rule.

    [05] KAS EXHUMATION

    Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, speaking at a press conference this morning, stated categorically that none of those who lost their lives during the 1974 coup d'etat in Cyprus are included in the list of those missing, adding that the names of all those killed during the coup are included in a list shown confidentially to the UN Resident Representative in Cyprus by the Republic's Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner.

    Referring to the exhumation process currently in progress, Foreign Minister Kasoulides said that it is purely a humanitarian issue, and that it has nothing to do with the Clerides-Denktash agreement of July 1997. He further noted that the efforts currently undertaken by the Cyprus Government may, conceivably, urge the Denktash occupation regime to reciprocate and help resolve an extremely painful issue.

    [06] PRESPAL DEFENCE

    A cross-party conference on defence matters was held this morning at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia.

    According to reliable sources available to our station, President of the Republic Glafkos Clerides briefed parliamentary party leaders and representatives on a preliminary formula by which no weapons system may be excluded from Cyprus' defence budget, the purchase of which, however, may only be carried out following approval by the House of Representatives.

    Given this morning's meeting, today's House debate of Cyprus' Defence Budget was postponed until next Thursday, pending the final positioning of the parties on the issue.

    Absent from the meeting were the Republic's Defence Minister, the Chief of the National Guard, and the members of the House Defence Committee, all of whom were not asked to attend.

    [07] HOUSE GRIEVANCE

    Meanwhile, the House Defence Committee has collectively expressed its intense displeasure at not being asked to attend this morning's meeting.

    The matter was discussed during a closed-doors session, and it was agreed that the grievance be submitted in writing to House President Spyros Kyprianou.

    In a relevant statement, Committee Chairman Takis HadjiDemetriou described the occurrence as a serious omission, given that the House Defence Committee is the only legislative body which can, independently and of its own accord, deal with matters of defence.

    [08] FINANCE PACKAGE

    Finance Minister Takis Clerides, during separate meetings this morning, submitted to all political party leaders the government's proposals on measures aimed at giving a fresh impetus to the island's economy.

    According to reliable information, the proposals include an increase of the Value Added Tax to 10%, as well as increased levies on petroleum products. The package also provides for a 15% increase in social benefits, while also offering incentives for self-housing and special provisions for families with over three children.

    A new round of talks between the Government and the island's political parties in order to exchange views and crystallise opinions on the financial proposals has been scheduled for the second half of this month.

    [09] HOUSE HEALTH PLAN

    Health Minister Christos Solomis today presented the government's controversial National Health Plan to the relevant House of Representatives committee, noting that Cyprus, on the threshold of the 21st Century and aspiring towards EU-accession, still does not have such a National Health System. By 1996 standards, the Plan's annual outlay would be 187 million pounds, 56% of which would be covered by the state.

    The Civil Servants Trade Union (PASYDY) is seriously contesting the Plan, and is demanding that it be returned to the Government so that proper procedures be followed.

    [10] NAT ATH TEAM

    Cyprus' National Men's Athletics team left for Athens this afternoon, in order to take part in the European Track and Field Cup meet this weekend.

    Coming up against Austria, Spain, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland and Yugoslavia, the Cypriot team aspires to keep its position in the European Cup's first category.

    Live relays of the European Track and Field Cup events will be carried by CyBC's Second Television Channel on both Saturday and Sunday, starting at a quarter-to-five in the afternoon.

    [11] WEATHER

    The weather will be generally fair tomorrow, with winds starting out variable light, 2-3BF, turning to moderate sea-breezes, 4BF, later in the day. Seas will be generally slight, rising to moderate in windward areas by the afternoon, while temperatures are expected to reach 33C inland, 29C along the south coast, 27C in the west and 25C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
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