High profile Cypriot politician and former defence and interior minister Socrates Hasikos passed away on Monday at the age of 64 after suffering from cancer.
Hasikos was a close associate of late President Glafcos Clerides and a prominent member of the ruling conservative Democratic Rally (DISY), serving as Defence Minister and Interior Minister.
President Nicos Anastasiades tweeted: “It is with great sadness that I heard of the death of Socrates Hasikos, a good friend who was one of my closest associates”.
In a written statement, Anastasiades said: “Socrates Hasikos served his country with love and devotion, offering much as a true patriot through the positions he served.
“He was always straightforward and dynamic, having as the criteria his love for his homeland and the struggles of Cypriot Hellenism.
“On behalf of the government, my family and myself, I express my deepest condolences.”
Born in Nicosia on 12 April 1956 in Kato Dikomo, Hasikos was a lawyer by profession.
The former minister was also involved in Cyprus media, as from 2003 until 2013, he was the Alfa Media group chairman.
He was also the Alithia newspaper owner, the Sport-FM radio station, and bought a stake in Cyprus’ Mega Channel, rebranded as Omega TV.
Hasikos was the major shareholder of the channel.
The former minister was a DISY Vice President and member of the Political Bureau, serving several terms as an MP.
He was first elected in 1991 as Kyrenia MP for DISY and re-elected in 1996.
On 25 August 1999, Hasikos was appointed by then-President Glafcos Clerides as Defence Minister and served until the government’s term ended in 2003.
He was re-elected as MP with Disy in 2006 but chose not to stand for re-election in 2011.
On 1 March 2013, Hasikos was appointed Interior Minister by Anastasiades. On May 10, 2017, he resigned for personal reasons.
Hasikos had been suffering from cancer and was recently flown to Germany for treatment.
He was married to Elli Koulermou, who also died of cancer in 2019, and is survived by his two sons and daughter.