Tributes pour in for Zeta

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Tributes continue to pour in for Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou, who died in an Athens hospital late Monday after being placed in an induced coma last month when suffering a cerebral aneurysm.

President Nicos Anastasiades led the tributes, sending in his condolences to the minister’s family and paying tribute to one of his closest partners in his ten-year administration.

President Nicos Anastasiades said he was “deeply saddened”.

“The loss of my dear Zeta shocked me. Deepest condolences to her son Achilleas, sister and brother, Mary, and Doros.

“Zeta will be missed by all of us. But mostly by the nation that lost an honest, intelligent, and effective minister,” said Anastasiades.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Annita Demetriou, expressed her sincere condolences over the “untimely death”.

“Emilianidou had been a valuable partner of the legislature and a worthy government official”.

Ruling DISY mourned the “loss of a friend, a member of the party, who has left her mark on the country’s political life. Her character and work will forever be an example for all of us”.

Centrist DIKO also said it was saddened over the death of the minister.

“She has served public life and our country with dignity, integrity, social sensitivity and devotion.”

EDEK highlighted her contribution to society, noting that “She stood out for her hard work, wisdom and compassion”.

The Green Party said: “She leaves a huge gap behind her. A woman with morals, dignity, and a strong female personality”.

As one of the Anastasiades’ administration’s most popular personalities, Emilianidou was praised by the business world and labour unions alike.

The Cyprus Federation of Employers (OEB) was “devasted and saddened” over the death.

“With unparalleled professionalism and social empathy, she has indelibly left her mark on Cyprus’ history and our hearts”.

Main opposition AKEL affiliated workers’ union PEO bade farewell to a minister “who has won over the respect and appreciation of all”.

Emilianidou, 67, was treated in an induced coma following surgery for a rupture of a cerebral aneurism she suffered on 15 May.

She had undergone a lengthy surgery after being flown to Athens.

Emilianidou was initially rushed to a private hospital in Nicosia after having severe headaches; she was diagnosed with a subarachnoid haemorrhage in the brain due to a ruptured aneurysm.

A subarachnoid haemorrhage means bleeding in the space surrounding the brain.

Emilianidou was a popular minister for nearly ten years and was only one of three women in the government.

She was also praised for her mediation efforts to maintain peace in the labour sector, often resolving major disputes.

A lawyer by profession, she was part of Anastasiades’ first cabinet in 2013.

Anastasiades kept her in the cabinet after winning the 2018 Presidential Election.

Emilianidou will be remembered for the humane way she handled issues involving her ministry, especially during the difficult times of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns.

Her contribution to designing measures and schemes to support businesses and especially employees during lockdowns and restrictions has been deemed crucial.

Emilianidou was set to make a series of announcements in May, including implementing the national minimum wage, after many months of consultation with all social partners.

Reportedly her ministry had also been working on a pension reform which was set to be announced by the end of the year.