President convenes extraordinary Cabinet meeting
President Nicos Anastasiades has convened an extraordinary Cabinet meeting Saturday evening, following the death earlier today of Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos, aged 48.
Tributes continue to pour in from the island’s political leadership as well as from associations and organizations but also from ordinary people from all walks of life and all political affiliations, who praise his ethos and moral scruples.
Social media in Cyprus have been inundated with messages of support, expressing sympathy to the bereaved family and pledging that his memory will remain with us for ever.
Defence Ministry Permanent Secretary Christos Mallikides told reporters that the Ministry of Defence together with the people of Cyprus are mourning the untimely loss of Tasos Mitsopoulos.
“Our Minister was the embodiment of political virtue and public morality. He will remain a great example for the political scene of Cyprus”, he added.
Averof Neofytou, President of right wing Democratic Rally which Mitsopoulos served in his political career, expressed deep sorrow at the Minister`s death.
“Hellenism, Cyprus and the Democratic Rally have lost a great man with unique morals. He will be badly missed. Our thoughts are with his family”, he said, adding that everyone is shocked by the news.
Opposition AKEL party in a statement expressed its deepest sorrow at Mitsopoulos` death, saying that he was always distinguished for his political and human morals, political moderation, was always polite. “It is indeed a great loss for the political life of Cyprus, especially in today`s conditions,” AKEL said.
President of the Democratic Party Nicolas Papadopoulos expressed deep sorrow over the death of Defence Minister Tasos mitsopoulos.
He said Mitsopoulos was a politician who was distinguished for his ethos, honesty and modesty who served his country with dignity, effectiveness and was deservedly respected and appreciated by all politicians, irrespective of political party or ideological affiliations.
The Socialist Party EDEK, in a statement, expressed sorrow over Mitsopoulos` untimely death, noting that he represented moral scruples, moderation, integrity and responsibility.
As a member of Parliament, it added, as a Minister and public figure, he served the island with sensitivity and selflessness.
The Environmentalists Movement expressed its deep regret for the loss of Mitsopoulos, noting he was a man with family values, political morals, kindness and integrity.
The European Party said that a young man, a true Greek, an ideologist and charismatic politician has passed away.
It said that Mitsopoulos` career was marked with consistency and he was a personality who was deeply democratic and progressive, with integrity and respect. “He will be hard to be replaced”.
The Citizens` Alliance leader, George Lillikas, expressing regret over Mitsopoulos` passing, said that those who were fortunate to know and work with the late Minister will always remember his moderation and morals.
The authorities of Larnaca, his hometown which he served as member of Parliament, expressed regret at the news of Mitsopoulos` passing.
In a statement, Larnaca Municipality, where he lived, said Mitsopoulos embodied a great example of political morality and leaves a gap which will be hard to replace.
It praised Mitsopoulos for his contribution to Cyprus and his hometown, adding that flags will fly at half mast in Larnaca and events to mark the 25th of March (Greek national day) will be cancelled. A street will be named after the late Minister as well as a school while a memorial service will be held in his memory.
The Cyprus Football Federation announced that during matches today and tomorrow, Sunday, football players will bear black armbands in his memory while a minute`s silence will be observed before the matches and flags at stadiums will fly at half mast.
Flags at the University of Cyprus were also flying at half mast.
Expressing deep regret, the University of Cyprus notes that Mitsopoulos was a distinguished political personality with high moral standards and integrity and a great example of a politician.
Greece mourns the death of Tasos Mitsopoulos
Greece, together with Cyprus, is also mourning the untimely death of Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who Mitsopoulos worked with after his studies in Greece, said “a distinguished patriot and a good friend, an excellent man, Tasos Mitsopoulos, is no longer with us”.
Expressing deep sorrow over Mitsopoulos` passing, Samaras said the late Minister was distinguished for his love of Greece and his passion of Cyprus` national problem.
“I express the most sincere condolences to his family, the people of Cyprus, the government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Democratic Rally”, he added.
Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic, Evangelos Venizelos, expressed sorrow and his sincere condolences to Mitsopoulos` family and the people of Cyprus for the Minister`s death.
He said Mitsopoulos was a “responsible politician, an extraordinary person, who during his entire life, from any post he served, worked continuously for the cause of the people of Cyprus. His memory will remain alive”, he concluded.
Mitsopoulos` counterpart, National Defence Minister Demetris Avramopoulos, said the late minister`s death was a loss for the people of Cyprus and Hellenism and came at a critical time for both Cyprus and the wider region.
Avramopoulos said it is also a loss for him as he and Mitsopoulos had worked together and enjoyed personal friendship. “But above all, it is a loss for his family, his father, his wife and children”, he noted.
“Cyprus has lost a great public figure, Hellenism a great patriot and his family its guardian. Let us observe with respect Tasos Mitsopoulos` memory and bid him farewell with love, and paying tribute to his public, patriotic and full of morals short life”, he concluded.
Mitsopoulos, 48, was being treated at Nicosia General Hospital’s intensive care unit since Friday morning after a ruptured aneurysm caused extensive hemorrhage.
He was married with two children.