|Monday, 15 July 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-08-23
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
MONDAY 23 AUGUST 1999
 HEADLINESCyprus' Defence Minister submitted his resignation this morning, amid increasing rumours of an imminent cabinet reshuffle;
Defying all odds, more survivors are being pulled out from underneath the rubble in Turkey's devastating earthquake, while efforts are focusing more on providing relief for the homeless;
Israel and the Palestinians plan to break an eight-month-old peacemaking deadlock;
Workings of the 11th World Conference of Cypriots Abroad began amain today.
 CHRYSOSTOMIS RESIGNSDefence Minister Yiannakis Chrysostomis this morning tendered his resignation, in writing, to President of the Republic Glafkos Clerides.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr Chrysostomis said that his resignation, tendered for reasons of personal dignity, was accepted. In answer to further questions, the outgoing Defence Minister expressed intense displeasure over the many scenaria concerning a cabinet reshuffle and the naming of various persons as his possible replacements without him being officially informed.
 PRESPAL MEETSConclusive decisions over the imminent cabinet reshuffle are expected to be taken within the next few days, following deliberations between President of the Republic Glafkos Clerides and the island's political leaders.
This morning, the President of the Republic met with the Chairman of the ruling Democratic Rally, Nikos Anastassiades, with whom he discussed the issue. On leaving the Presidential Palace, Mr Anastassiades refrained from making any comments.
The meeting followed an earlier one between President Clerides and Government Spokesman Costas Serezis, who has often been the focus of controversy over the last few weeks. Asked by reporters to comment on the meeting, Mr Serezis referred them to his regular lunchtime press briefing.
Meanwhile, certain circles disclosed to our station that the President of the Republic was also to meet United Democrats Chairman George Vassiliou within the day. Mr Vassiliou however denied the scheduling of any such meeting, adding that he did not wish to make any statements concerning the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle
 HJIYIANNIS RESHUFFLEMeanwhile, and speaking on CyBC's Third Radio Channel this morning, Democratic Rally deputy Sophocles HjiYiannis, a member of the ruling party's political bureau, reiterated that DISY insists on the formation of a broad-acceptance government.
Mr HjiYiannis further said that a greater presence of the United Democrats in the island's administration would not be unwelcome, but stressed the need for a careful selection so that those participating in any new cabinet express the government's positions correctly.
In closing, the DISY deputy noted that the entire issue has already been tabled for discussion by the party's political bureau.
 CHRISTOPHIDES RESHUFFLEUnited Democrats first vice-chairman Yiorgos Christophides also spoke out concerning the prospective cabinet reshuffle, saying that his party, while not pouncing on the opportunity to increase its participation in the government, does seek equal treatment by the President of the Republic.
Mr Christophides also commented on rumours presenting United Democrats' deputy chairman Michalis Papapetrou as a front-runner for the post of Government Spokesman, saying that no official proposal has yet been made to the party, adding that there are also others who could assume the position.
The United Democrats's executive secretariat is convening at eight o'clock tonight to discuss the issue.
 RESHUFFLE OTHERSThe Eurodemocratic Renewal Party has also jumped on the reshuffle bandwagon, with acting president Antonis Paschalides stating that a party delegation will meet with the President of the Republic in order to express its desire to participate in the government. Adding that so far there have only been serious intimations but no official proposal for participation, Mr Paschalides emphasised that even if his party is not included in the new government, it will continue to support President Clerides' policies.
Meanwhile, the first vice-chairman of the Socialist EDEK party, Yiannakis Omirou, refrained from making any statements on the matter, saying that being officially in opposition, the question of a cabinet reshuffle is not of any concern to EDEK, and repeated that no matter what, the Socialist party will not participate in any new administration.
 KYPS RESHUFFLEHouse President and Democratic Party chairman Spyros Kyprianou told reporters today that he was fully aware of President Clerides' plans to proceed with a cabinet reshuffle.
According to the DIKO Chairman, the plans were disclosed to him by close associates of the President of the Republic last week.
In closing, Mr Kyprianou said that while fully aware of the President's intentions, he is still not aware of any specific names as regards ministerial positions.
 TURKEY SIT'N IIn the earthquake-stricken Turkish north-west, relief teams today began distributing food and setting up tents for survivors, as signs of life grew fewer under the thousands of wrecked buildings, and the onset of rain overnight made life more miserable for the 200,000 people rendered homeless by the country's worst tremor in 60 years.
Defying all odds however, the Israeli army said in a statement from Jerusalem that one of its rescue teams had pulled a three-year-old boy alive from rubble in the town of Cinarcik early today. An Israeli team had also rescued a woman from the ruins of an apartment block in Cinarcik overnight, 138 hours after the quake.
 TURKEY SIT'N IIIn the devastated coastal town of Golcuk meanwhile, trucks carried away twisted metal, broken furniture and masonry from collapsed apartment blocks. The clothes of victims were piled up on street corners after being pulled out of the rubble.
A military commander said troops were focusing on setting up tent cities with proper sanitation to guard against disease. Tonnes of lime were scattered over wrecked buildings and around tents in Golcuk, close to the quake's epicentre.
With 12,148 confirmed dead from the quake, the United Nations estimates that the final death toll could reach about 40,000 once all the bodies under the rubble are recovered.
Turkish newspapers meanwhile are calling for the resignation of Health Minister Osman Durmush, who was quoted as saying that all the disaster region's health needs had been met and there was no need for foreign medical teams.
 MIDEASTIsrael and the Palestinians plan to break an eight-month-old peacemaking deadlock ahead of US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's Middle East mission next week.
Having for weeks voiced pessimism, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters: "We hope by today or tomorrow we can finish." He said only two issues had yet to be resolved in talks he resumed today with Israel's negotiator, attorney Gilad Sher.
Earlier in the day, Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy accused the Palestinians of fabricating a crisis, something which the Palestinian side promptly refuted, adding that everybody is working in good faith.
 WEATHERGenerally fair conditions are forecast for this afternoon, but isolated cloud is expected to form over inland regions, leading to the possibility of scattered showers. Winds will be moderate sea-breezes, 4-5BF, on slight seas, rising to moderate in windward areas.
Tonight's forecast includes patches of mist and low cloud in many areas of the island, while winds will abate to variable light, 2-3BF, on slight seas. Temperatures are expected to drop to 23C inland, 24C along the coasts and 19C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
The fire hazard is extremely high throughout the island.