There were demonstrations and counter-demonstrations in Nicosia on Thursday (March 23) as Archbishop Makarios awaited a reply form three senior Cyprus bishops who have demanded his resignation as head of state.
GV EXT. Bishop's Palace
SV & CU Bishops seated (2 shots)
GV Pro-Grivas students march to Bishop's Palaced
GV & SV Students with flags around status (2 shots)
GV Police standing by
GV Students disperse on their own
SV & CU Pro-Makarios students marching (4 shots)
Initials OS/1646 OS/1658
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Background: There were demonstrations and counter-demonstrations in Nicosia on Thursday (March 23) as Archbishop Makarios awaited a reply form three senior Cyprus bishops who have demanded his resignation as head of state.
The demonstrators, mainly students, held peaceful parades through city streets. Some backed President Makarios while others marched in support of Enosis -- union with Greece -- and its militant leader, General George Grivas.
The Cypriot leader told the bishops that he disagrees with their reasons for demanding his resignation. However, the President said he will step down should they insist the do so in their reply.
Present tensions in Cyprus stem partly from another demand made last month by the Greek government. It called on the Archbishop to reshuffle his government and hand over stocks of imported weapons to United Nations forces based on the island.
SYNOPSIS: The Bishop's Palace at Limassol where three Cyprus bishops have called for the resignation of Archbishop Makarios as the island's head of state. The three senior clergymen -- now under police guard -- were busy drafting a reply to President Makarios who has advised them that their request for his resignation is ill-founded. However, the Archbishop said he would step down if they reiterate the demand in their reply. Meanwhile, students for and against the President paraded through Nicosia on Thursday.
Some, like those seen here, demonstrated in support of Enosis -- union with Greece -- and the movement's leader General Grivas. The Greek government figures highly in the present tension. Last month, Athens called on President Makarios to Reshuffle his government and turn over stocks of imported arms to United Nations forces based on the island. It's not clear whether President Makarios has replied to the Greek demand.
Police were on hand but both groups conducted their marches peacefully.
The pro-Makarios students were also in the streets in numbers. The President has told the bishops that his resignation as head of state could lead to an upheaval in the Cyprus Orthodox Church. Furthermore, he has warned them that accepting their demand could result in the partition of the island between Greece and Turkey. Despite the present troubles, President Makarios plan to attend the weekend celebration of Greek Independence in Nicosia.