Cyprus Government Resigns, Putting EU-IMF Bailout in Question
All ministers in Cyprus have handed their resignations to President Nikos Anastasiades.
After an emergency meeting, the head of state announced a decision on a new cabinet would be taken before March 15.
For that stretch of time, outgoing ministers have been asked by Anastasiades to stay in power, Cross news agency has reported.
Cracks emerged in the government after disagreement over the economic and political measures taken by the president on urgent national priorities.
The first to submit their resignations were four ministers of the coalition Democratic Party (DIKO), who left the cabinet amidst strikes and power outages across Cyprus.
Staunch presidential supporters from the conservative DISY party also quit the government, as the parliament failed to approve the huge-scale privatization plan, a condition by Cyprus's international lenders for allowing tranches of the EUR 10 B loan to the debt-ridden country.
The bailout plan, established by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, envisages the privatization of three major public utility corporations (Cyprus Telecoms CyTA, the Electricity Authority and the Cyprus Ports Authority) in order to raise EUR 1.4 B by 2018.
Over the last few days, a significant social pressure has been put on the government, with protesters, mostly workers at the three state companies, called strikes and staged demonstration outside parliament in the capital Nicosia.
Deutsche Welle informs that government resignation came when the parliament turned down the privatization bill, after proposals for an amendment safeguarding jobs and benefits for workers at privatized companies were rejected.