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Cyprus president to reshuffle cabinet over energy crisis

Other News Materials 28 July 2011 16:52
Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias announced a government reshuffle on Thursday in response to an energy crisis caused by an explosion that hit the country's main power station, the Athens News Agency (ANA) reported.
Cyprus president to reshuffle cabinet over energy crisis

Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias announced a government reshuffle on Thursday in response to an energy crisis caused by an explosion that hit the country's main power station, the Athens News Agency (ANA) reported.

"The president has notified the 11-member cabinet of the upcoming reshuffle and asked them to submit their resignations," government spokesperson Stefanos Stefanou said, according to ANA, dpa reported.

Christofias decided on the reshuffle after the Defence and Foreign Ministers resigned over the accidental July 11 explosion at the island's naval base amid growing public anger.

There have been calls for the president to resign.

The explosion occurred when 98 containers of seized Iranian munitions blew up in an open area at the naval base, which lies close to the power station.

Thirteen people died in the blast and the island's largest power station was severely damaged, leading to power cuts.

The munitions containers were seized from a ship that left Iran for Syria in 2009, following a UN ban on Iranian arms exports.

The decision to reshuffle the cabinet follows growing concern over the country's economy.

On Wednesday, Moody's credit agency downgraded Cyprus' credit rating by two notches from A2 to Baa1 over concerns on the economic repercussions, as well as the banking system's exposure to Greece.

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