European Press Review: Cypriot Unity -- No Longer A Mirage | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 16.02.2004
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European Press Review: Cypriot Unity -- No Longer A Mirage

Most European papers on Monday carried commentaries on the newly unveiled U.N. roadmap for peace in Cyprus, as well as the turmoil in Haiti.

The Salzburger Nachrichten called the Cyprus road map for peace put forward by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan a diplomatic masterpiece. The paper said the road map dictated such a rigid schedule that Greeks and Turkish Cypriots can’t afford to play for time. If both sides fail to be constructive in the search for a compromise, the Austrian daily predicted, Annan would simply dictate the missing points. By posing this question in an island-wide referendum, the issue is no longer in the hands of those politicians who have continued to fan the year-long conflict, the paper added.

The French paper Le Figaro commented on the renewed upsurge of violence in Haiti. The Haitian state is crumbling and the country no longer has an army, the daily observed. Not all of this can be blamed on the country’s President Jean Bertrand Aristide. But he, whom many in the country once believed to be their savior, has been by far the worst among the Haitian leaders in the last two centuries. In the face of the humanitarian crisis that is beginning to unfold, the international community won’t be able to sit and watch much longer, concluded the French paper.

Haitian rebels are threatening to attack the capital, while opposition parties consider non-violent demonstration the best way to achieve their end, wrote the Swiss Berner Zeitung. But both have the same aim: to get rid of Aristide. Yet the president acts as if everything were under control and there was no discontent with his leadership. He is not willing to make concessions, said the daily, nor is he considering stepping down from office.