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Microsoft! Beware of Greeks (reading maps)

Cyprus is not amused

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Microsoft has fallen foul of the government in the Greek-speaking part of Cyprus. And all because roadmaps of the country as featured on AutoRoute Express fail to show the political reality of the divided country.

Although the maps display a red line to represent the demarcation between Greek and "occupied" Turkish-speaking areas of the island, "there is nothing saying what it is or why it is there," Katerina Shamptani, of the Cyprus Communications and Works Ministry complained to AFX, the financial newswire.

"The Autoroute Express system gives directions passing through villages in the north. We don't want tourists ending up in the occupied areas and Greek Cypriot citizens can't go there anyway," she said.

According to AFX, the ministry has asked Microsoft to change maps to make clear that there is a "government-controlled area and a Turkish-occupied area prohibiting free movement".

Microsoft has yet to reply, according to Shamptani. Can't imagine that it will comply fully with the Cypriots' request, though. It's one thing correcting inept route directions - it's quite another playing eastern Mediterranean politics.

It sure is tough being a multinational. Pacify the Greeks and you end up annoying the Turks. (And there are a hell of a lot more Turks than there are Greeks). ®

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