Cyprus: Cabinet Resigns

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NICOSIA, Cyprus, July 28 (UPI) — The Cabinet of Cyprus resigned Thursday at the request of the president, who cited a deadly munitions blast and a down economy as reasons for the overhaul.

A spokesman for President Dimitris Christofias announced the resignations, Voice of America reported. Stefanos Stefanou said Christofias asked the 11 Cabinet members to remain on the job until a new government is installed.

The defense and foreign ministers had already resigned.

Cyprus is in shock from a munitions explosion at a naval base earlier in July that killed 13 people, including the chief of the Cypriot navy. The explosion also damaged a key power plant, causing electricity shortages to about half the country.

Experts have said repairs could last longer than a year and cost more than $1 billion, VOA reported.

On Wednesday, the Moody’s credit rating agency downgraded Cypriot government bonds, saying the outlook for the country was negative. Moody’s said it took the action because of fiscal and economic conditions caused by the damaged power plant, as well as Cyprus’ political climate.

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