Cyprus bid farewell to Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos on Monday, who died on Saturday and was buried in his home town of Larnaca.
Mitsopoulos, the 48-year-old protégé of President Nicos Anastasiades, died after suffering a ruptured cerebral aneurysm.
He had only taken up his new portfolio for a week, when he collapsed in his office on Friday. Mitsopoulos was rushed to hospital but died a day later, despite the efforts of the doctors at the Nicosia General Hospital, as well as specialist neurosurgeons from Israel and Greece.
Also attending the funeral was Greek national defence minister Demetris Avramopoulos, with whom Mitsopoulos had worked during his political career in Greece. He was representing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Archbishop Chrysostomos II officiated at the state funeral held at the Church of Ayios Georgios Kontos, in Larnaca, attended President Anastasiades and the entire cabinet, former presidents George Vassiliou and Demetris Christofias, government and public officials, and a huge crowd of people.
In his eulogy, President Anastasiades referred to their common journey with Tasos Mistsopoulos over the last twenty years, but also to the virtues of the deceased as a human being and as a politician.
The President also referred to the great love that Tasos Mitsopoulos felt both for Cyprus and Greece, as well as for Europe. He had cut short his meeting at the European leaders' summit in Brussels on Friday to be by the side of Mitsopoulos and his wife, journalist Katerina Vati.
Mitsopoulos had undertaken his new portfolio having served as Transport Minister for a year. He had been a very close associate to the president and had been his spokesman for more than a decade.
President Anastasiades and the entire cabinet signed the book of condolences at the Defence Ministry on Sunday.
The text reads: "With great grief and sorrow, we bid farewell to our friend and colleague, Minister of Defence, former Minister of Communications and Works and former MP Tasos Mitsopoulos. A noble politician, who graced with his morality, his dignity and his moderation, the country`s political life. We bid farewell to an exceptional person, a great family man, a loving father. We honor him for his decency and his contribution to the struggles for Cyprus and Europe."
The Democratic Rally party (DISY-EPP) has opened an online book of condolences at www.tmitsopoulos.com and on the party website www.disy.org.cy .
There is also a facebook page "Tasos Mitsopoulos, the honourable politician" with a photo galery and comments: https://www.facebook.com/inmemoriamtasosmitsopoulos
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