A hero's welcome for Cypriot Archbishop Makarios. Thousands greeted him as he made a triumphant?
A hero's welcome for Cypriot Archbishop Makarios. Thousands greeted him as he made a triumphant entry into Famagusta, December 6 - the first time he has visited the town since his return from exile in March this year. Myrtle branches were strewn in his path, and people called him "Saviour" - reminiscent of the Biblical description of Christ's entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Preaching in St. Nicholas Church, the Cypriot Orthodox prelate used the occasion for his Presidential electioneering. Hundreds outside the church heard him on a loudspeaker relay system.
At the other end of town the Archbishop's opponent, party - Left-Right coalition of Democratic Union and Communist AKEL - also held a large meeting.
Nicosia - and thousands gathered at a pro-Makarios rally. Metaxas Square overflowed with banner-carrying supporters. The Archbishop was acclaimed as "Makarios the Saviour" - but in other parts of the country he was denounced as "Makarios the Dictator".
Earlier this month, December 3, in Nicosia's Turkish quarter, Attaturk Square resounded with cheers as Dr. Kutchuk was declared Vice-President of the Cyprus Republic without opposition.
With just a week to the December 13 Presidential elections support for Archbishop Makario's opponent, liberal lawyer John Clerides, increases surprisingly. And the Communist AKEL party - its four-year ban lifted with the ending of the Cyprus Emergency on Decl - takes a major part in the Clerides campaign.
But as the country campaigns, there is a noticeable absence - General George Grivas, former EOKA leader, remains quiet, not directing his followers to support either candidates so far. His patched friendship with Makarios is thought to be still rickety.