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Cypriot News Headlines 11-10-11

cyprus newsAlithia: "Pressure raised on Christofias" headlines an article saying that the presidents of opposition parties DIKO and DISY reiterated calls for President Demetris Christofias to resign over his failure to take responsibility for the deadly explosion at Mari naval base.

In other news, secondary school students held a strike yesterday to protest teacher union OELMEK's decision to stop going to all extracurricular events. A 15-year-old girl was injured when she fell off the car bonnet she was sitting on when the vehicle started to move away.

Simerini: "They found the right balance to defuse the education crisis" headlines an article saying that Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias met with teacher union OELMEK to agree on what economic austerity measures will be promoted by the government. In other news, defence lawyers in the Helios Airlines air disaster called for the case to be dismissed, arguing there is no evidence against the defendants and that the plane crash was due to pilot error.

Phileleftheros: "Gas found at platform" headlines an article saying that undersea natural gas reserves are expected to be bigger than first estimated. In other news, the committee managing the Paphos-Polis road will meet to terminate the project because they believe they are deadlocked over the project.

Haravgi (communist party AKEL paper): "Patriotic duty" headlines an article saying that the finance minister is aspiring to tackle economic problems with the 2012 budget. The government has no plan B or C if Parliament votes against the budget.

Turkish-Cypriot news headlines (source PIO).

Havadis reports that Cemil Cicek, the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly stated that “TRNC” has become an open prison.

Cicek said that the Turkish side is asked to “pay the bill”. He also reiterated the Turkish allegation that EU should admit it made a mistake regarding Cyprus becoming member of the EU.

He called on the European Union to exert pressure to the Greek Cypriot side for the solution of the Cyprus problem and stated that if the EU exerted on the Greek Cypriots the one fourth of the pressure that exerts to Turkey, the Cyprus problem would have been solved.

Hurriyet writes that Verhofstadt warned that the Cyprus conflict remained a major stumbling block for Turkey’s EU bid, suggesting that a solution could become easier if the settlement is sought not under U.N. auspices but within the EU. He added that 2012 would be critical for the ultimate fate of Turkey’s membership talks.

Bayrak television reports that Osman Ertug - spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu – said that all chapters were open to discussion at the negotiating table during the remaining four meetings leading to the New York summit at the end of this month.

Ertug said the Turkish Cypriot side, in line with the UN Secretary-General’s request, will continue to put bridging proposals on the table so as to achieve as much progress as possible before the tripartite meeting.

Today’s Zaman reports that:

“In a recent dispute between Turkey and Greek Cyprus over drilling for hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey has given the green light to its military to station units in various critical zones in the region in order to conduct surveillance and monitor activities, the Bugun daily reported on Monday.

Turkey has deployed frigates and choppers in the eastern Mediterranean carrying naval units, including Special Underwater Defence Units (SAS) and Special Underwater Attack Units (SAT), Bugun reported. These specially trained units have been given orders to keep 10 critical zones of hydrocarbon exploration under surveillance, in line with a map prepared by the Turkish military that defines risky zones in the area.

Turkey dispatched four frigates, one logistical support vessel and three naval choppers in accordance with a military decree dating back to Aug. 15 to work in shifts around these zones. The first troops currently deployed are expected to monitor activity until Nov. 15, with two following shifts already planned to provide coverage until August 2012, the daily reported.

Gunes reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader met yesterday with the Israeli Ambassador in Cyprus, Michael Harari. No statements were given to the press.

Radikal publishes exclusive statements by Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and chief negotiator of Turkey’s accession talks with the European Union, who stated that if it was not for Turkey, Europe would not be able to reach any energy resources.

Bagis made these statements yesterday heading to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The paper writes that Bagis held “intensive telephone diplomacy” with Stefan Fule, EU Commissioner on enlargement prior to the EU’s progress report for Turkey, which will be released tomorrow.

Describing the paragraph on Cyprus as “one of the most critical paragraphs” of the progress report, Bagis alleged that this year, like every year, the Greek Cypriot side created an artificial crisis in the weeks prior to the report. However, he said, the UN Secretary-General has set a clear date in the framework of the direct talks between the two community leaders and it remains to be seen by the end of the year whether an agreement will be reached or not.

Referring to the explorations oil and natural gas explorations by the Republic of Cyprus, Bagis stated that if it was not for Turkey, Europe would not be able to reach any energy resources and added that the Greek Cypriot side unilaterally prevents the opening of the energy chapter in Turkey’s accession talks creating a crisis. “The 26 countries must say enough anymore to this impertinence”, he stated.

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