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MENEM SHUFFLES POSTS

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President Carlos Menem accepted Economic Minister Nestor Rapanelli's resignation and shuffled several Cabinet posts Friday, just days after the unveiling of a new economic austerity plan.

The government ordered banks closed to cope with the crisis, the worst in a succession of resignations by high-level economic officials.Vice Economic Minister Orlando Ferreres told reporters of Rapanelli's resignation Friday morning, and said the departing minister's economic team also would be quitting. He gave no reason for the resignation.

Menem accepted Rapanelli's resignation later in the day and replaced him with Health Minister Antonio Erman Gonzalez, a presidential statement said.