Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Filippos Hadjizacharias

Innovation minister resigns ahead of reshuffle

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Philippos Hadjizacharias, Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, resigned on Friday amid speculation that he would be among the Cyprus cabinet ministers to be replaced by President Nikos Christodoulides in an upcoming reshuffle.

In an interview with Phileleftheros earlier this week, President Christodoulides suggested that a reshuffle was imminent prior the completion of 18 months into his term, a target date allowing cabinet members to be eligible for a ministerial pension.

Hadjizacharias reportedly submitted his resignation to the president, citing personal reasons.

He was identified as one of four cabinet members slated for dismissal with a cabinet reshuffle slated for March this year, with the others being Health Minister Popi Kanari, Agriculture Minister Petros Xenophontos, and Deputy Tourism Minister Costas Koumis.

Media reports suggested that these four names are considered as the government’s “weakest links”.

At the same time, other reports suggest that a series of other ministers should not feel safe either, essentially awaiting the outcome of the President’s efforts to find their replacements.

As reported, Finance Minister Makis Keraunos, Justice Minister Anna Koukkides Procopiou, Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas and Energy Minister George Papanastasiou are among the names mentioned in a reshuffle scenario.

Keravnos has served twice as minister under President Tassos Papadopoulos, as he held the same post back in 2004-2005, and was also Labour Minister from 2003 to 2004. He is also the oldest member of the cabinet at the age of 72.