Chamorro acts over land grabs

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The Independent Online
MANAGUA (AP) - President Violeta Chamorro has issued decrees to solve 'once and forever' the issue of property seized by the former Sandinista rulers.

Her government has resolved about 1,000 such claims since taking power in April of 1990, but about 4,600 claims remain outstanding.

The issue is one used by the US Senator, Jesse Helms, a conservative Republican, for holding up dollars 104m ( pounds 53m) in promised US aid desperately needed by Nicaragua. Mr Helms and others contend that the Sandinistas, defeated by Mrs Chamorro's 14-party coalition in February 1990, still retain excessive sway with the government.

Mrs Chamorro has denied that recent moves are because of American influence.