Report: Economist to be Cyprus’ New Finance Minister

Posted August 4th, 2011 at 6:25 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Cyprus' state radio reports that economist Kikis Kazamias will be named the island's new finance minister Friday.

Cypriot cabinet ministers resigned July 28 under public pressure following a massive munitions blast at a naval base. The explosion killed 13 people, and severely damaged a major power plant, causing a setback to the country's economy.

The Bank of Cyprus has called for urgent government action to prevent a financial crisis that would force the island to seek a bailout from the European Union.

Cyprus would be the fourth European country of the 17 that use the common currency to seek an international bailout. The European Union and the International Monetary Fund have granted bailout packages to Greece, Ireland and Portugal since the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis erupted last year.

Also Thursday, United Nations officials in Cyprus said that the next meeting of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders, planned for Friday, has been postponed. A U.N. spokesman said the Greek Cypriot side asked for the postponement.

The Mediterranean island has been divided into Greek-controlled and Turkish-controlled entities since 1974. Since 2008, the two sides have been negotiating for a reunification of the island under a federal state. Talks focus on such issues as power-sharing, security, property and the right of return of the displaced people.