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Government Approves Cabinet Reshuffle

Sofia, June 10 (RFE/RL) -- The Bulgarian Parliament today approved changes in Prime Minister Zhan Videnov's socialist cabinet aimed at boosting attempts to overcome an economic crisis. 121 deputies voted for the changes in the Industry, Agriculture and Culture Ministries. Two deputies opposed the move. A new Energy Ministry was also established with Roumen Ovcharov, an expert on Bulgaria's atomic sector, as its head. The changes also see Lyubomir Dachev, the vice minister of education, science and technology, taking over as industry minister. Agriculture Minister Svetoslav Chivarov is replaced by Crustyo Trendatilov, head of the regional council in the northwest region of Montana. Chivarov, however, remains in his post as deputy prime minister. The new culture minister is art critic Ivan Marazov.

Videnov kept his key Economic Ministers - including Finance Minister Dimitar Kostov - in place.

The opposition refused to take part in the vote, saying that the entire government should resign and early legislative elections should be held.

The main opposition party, Union of Democratic Forces, submitted a no-confidence motion in the government which reportedly will be debated tomorrow.