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Greece gov't announces cabinet reshuffle

(Xinhua)

16:39, March 07, 2012

ATHENS, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Greek interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Tuesday announced a limited cabinet reshuffle, according to an official statement.

The shake-up of the transitional coalition administration was triggered by the resignation of Christos Papoutsis from the post of the Citizens' Protection Minister last week to contest the leadership of the socialist PASOK party in upcoming elections on March 18.

According to a press release issued by the government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis, Papoutsis is replaced by Michalis Chrysochoidis, the incumbent Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister who has served as minister in charge of public order in the past.

Outgoing Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou gets the portfolio of the Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Ministry.

Diamantopoulou is replaced by Linguistics professor Yorgos Babiniotis, while former police chief Eleytherios Economou is appointed as Citizens' Protection Deputy Minister.

The cabinet reshuffle was released ahead of another critical announcement expected later this week regarding the outcome of the voluntary Greek sovereign debt restructuring program.

Private holders of Greek state bonds face a deadline by Thursday night to participate in the 106 billion-euro (140 billion U.S. dollars) debt swap scheme promoted by the Greek government and European counterparts and International Monetary Fund (IMF) who support Greece with rescue loans since 2010 to avoid a default.

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