Cyprus leader plans big crisis reshuffle

2011-07-28 08:56
Nicosia - Cypriot President Demetris Christofias will seek the resignation of his cabinet on Thursday in the face of public anger at an accidental munitions blast that destroyed the island's biggest power station and threatens it with a financial meltdown.

Paving the way for a reshuffle, Christofias will ask all members of his cabinet to step down at a meeting scheduled for 06:30 GMT, government spokesperson Stefanos Stefanou said.

On Wednesday, the junior governing partner in Cyprus's centre-left coalition, the Democratic Party, said it had asked its ministers in government to bow out in a bid to expedite its own call for a cabinet reshuffle.

"The President of the Republic intends to proceed with a broad reshuffle...[He] has convened for tomorrow an extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers and will ask all ministers to place their resignations at his disposal," Stefanou said in a statement.

Facing its most serious challenge yet, Christofias' government could face a bill of at least $1.44bn for the explosion on July 11, which an overwhelming majority of Cypriots blame on state incompetence and negligence.

The blast killed 13 people and knocked out half of the island's power supply.

Rating cut

On Wednesday, Moody's cut Cyprus's sovereign credit rating to Baa1, three notches above junk status, and warned another downgrade was possible, highlighting the energy crisis and exposure of its banks to Greek debt.

Since the blast, markets have trained their sights on the east Mediterranean nation as a possible fourth recipient of a euro zone emergency rescue after Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and political wrangling now risks derailing much-needed economic reforms.

Last week, the island's central bank governor and European Central Bank governing council member, Athanasios Orphanides, warned that without immediate action Cyprus may need a bailout.

Two of Christofias's 11 ministers, of foreign affairs and defence, have resigned since the blast.

The munitions, confiscated from a ship sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009, were stored a few hundred metres away from a power station on the south coast in often scorching conditions, despite appeals from army officers for their removal.

Christofias has said an inquiry into the incident will also scrutinise his own rule, though aides have repeatedly said he was unaware of the deteriorating storage conditions.

There have been calls for Christofias, a Communist whose term expires in 2013, to step down, but that appears unlikely. As leader of Cyprus's dominant Greek Cypriot community, he leads reunification talks with estranged Turkish Cypriots to clinch a peace deal to end decades of conflict.

The absence of such a deal is harming Turkey's bid to join the EU.

Read more on:    cyprus
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.