13 March 2014 11:58

After ten days of dithering and speculation President Anastasiades named his new government yesterday with three new faces in the 11-member cabinet.
In the end Anastasiades bowed to pressure from ruling Disy to offload the Diko stalwarts while trying not to upset his former coalition partner - a balancing act that may yet backfire.
Nevertheless, George Lakkotrypis will stay on as energy minister after the president opted against a wide-ranging reshuffle to his Cabinet - the only other surprise is that Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos was shifted to defence.
Bailed-out Cyprus sees newly found offshore gas reserves as an economic boon, elevating the importance of the energy portfolio.
All ministers had submitted their resignations after centre-right DIKO - voted last month to pull its four ministers in protest at Anastasiades' handling of renewed talks to reunify the divided island.
Lakkotrypis quit the party after disagreeing with the vote - paving the way for his inclusion.
But Anastasiades replaced the education defence and health ministers who also hail from DIKO; even though two ministers Fotis Fotiou and Kyriacos Kenevezos suspended their party affiliation while Petros Petrides also resigned.
The new ministers will be sworn in on Friday.


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