Cyprus coalition falls, deepening political crisis

Centre-right Cypriot party Diko abandoned its coalition partnership with communist President Demetris Christofias on Wednesday, saying talks had collapsed over measures to address the country’s economic and political woes.

“The dialogue has terminated; Diko’s cooperation with the president has ended,” party leader Marios Garoyian said.

Cyprus, which was already struggling to get its finances in order, was left reeling after a July 11 munitions explosion killed 13 people and destroyed the island’s biggest power plant, a disaster that all but destroyed any hopes of economic growth this year.

Last week, Diko urged Christofias to reshuffle his cabinet in a bid to restore confidence in the government by broadening its base and through swift decision-making on the political and economic fronts.

“Unfortunately it was not possible to achieve complete agreement for a strategic exit from the crisis, and the hoped-for convergence of views did not emerge,” Garoyian said.

“And serious differences in evaluations, views and approaches on the handling of the Cyprus problem remained,” he added.

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