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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 April, 2004, 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
European dismay at Cyprus result
UN troops in a Nicosia market
UN "blue berets" look like staying

European press coverage of the rejection of the UN reunification plan for Cyprus by the island's Greek community reflects pessimism at the widely predicted outcome.

On a Sunday, there is little formal comment, but factual reports of the results give an indication of the mood.

In Spain, El Pais observes that the No from the Greek Cypriots "pronounces a death sentence" on Kofi Annan's peace plan and "consummates the entry into the EU of a country divided by barbed wire and patrolled by blue berets".

A report in El Mundo contains sympathy for the Turkish Cypriots and a warning for the Greek community.

The exclusion of the predominantly Turkish north from the European Union from 1 May "is particularly hard on a population who have lived for 30 years cut off from the world", the paper says.

Warning

But "things are none too certain" for the internationally recognized south, it adds, noting that recently "several senior UN officials have openly aired their anger at the Greek Cypriot opposition to reunification".

In a similar vein, ABC sees possible benefits for the Turkish community and problems for the Greek Cypriots.

The south's No vote "will hasten the recognition of the Turkish Cypriot republic by countries which are friends of Turkey", it forecasts.

Meanwhile, it warns, although the Greek Cypriots are assured of their place in the European Union, they will face "the distrust of the EU and the absolutely unconcealed annoyance of Kofi Annan".

No in Greek, Yes in Turkish
Le Soir - Belgium

Division

French-language newspapers highlight the continuing divisions between the two communities.

"No in Greek, Yes in Turkish", says the headline in Belgium's Le Soir.

The widely read French regional paper Ouest France similarly notes "a clear Yes in the Turkish sector but a huge No in the Greek sector".

For Le Nouvel Observateur, the Greek Cypriot result represents "a tragic result for the EU".

Papers in Germany - itself reunified only in 1990 - blame the Greek Cypriots.

"Greek Cypriots prevent reunification", declares the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

"Cyprus remains a divided island", it regrets.

Similarly, Der Tagesspiegel headlines its report: "Greeks prevent Cyprus unity".

Regret

Its report highlights German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's "disappointment that citizens in the south of the island did not take advantage of the great opportunity for reunification".

For the Frankfurter Rundschau, the main point is "worldwide regret at Cyprus vote", and it singles out Kofi Annan's regret that the island has "missed an historic opportunity".

Austria's newspapers are mainly interested in their own presidential election taking place on Sunday, but they find time to report the Cyprus referendum results.

The Greek part seems to have put a spanner in the works of hopes that the island could join the EU united
Die Presse - Austria

"The reunification of Cyprus and thus the EU accession of both halves of the island on 1 May has failed as a result of the overwhelming resistance of the Greek Cypriots," reports Der Kurier.

And Die Presse professes itself bemused by the whole affair.

Confusion

"Nothing is easy in Cyprus", it says of the twin referendums.

"The Greek part seems to have put a spanner in the works of hopes that the island could join the EU united," it regrets.

There is also disappointment in Hungary, another country due to join the EU on 1 May.

"The Turkish Yes was no use - it was the Greek No that was decisive", complains Magyar Hirlap.

And Nepszabadsag observes pessimistically that "even the referendum hasn't produced unity".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




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