Koushos takes helm at Labour Ministry

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Former government spokesperson and close associate of President Nicos Anastasiades, Kyriacos Koushos, was sworn in as Labour Minister on Monday, vowing to fulfil the work of his late predecessor Zeta Emilianidou.

Koushos’ appointment saw Petros Demetriou – former director of the office of the President – sworn in as undersecretary to the President.

Pantelis Pantelides, former secretary of the Presidency, takes over as director of the Office of the President.

Koushios replaces Zeta Emilianidou, who died earlier in June after a brain aneurysm rupture.

“Today’s appointment is the most unpleasant during my nine-year term as President. And it is unpleasant because, unintentionally, I am obliged by the Constitution to replace a person who honoured me with her friendship, a universally acclaimed colleague who made my vision of a welfare state a reality,” President Nicos Anastasiades said at the ceremony.

The new Labour Minister said he had mixed feelings about leaving his job and replacing Zeta Emilianidou.

“I want to assure you that I will complete what Zeta has set in motion,” Koushios said.

Pending work includes the introduction of a national minimum wage, reform of the pension system, legislative regulation on parental leave for those with children aged up to eight, and the implementation of “Cyprus Tomorrow”.

Koushos, a lawyer by profession, was born in Famagusta in 1952 and studied Law at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

He has practised Law since 1977and is a Senior Associate at the Law Office of Koushos and Korfiotis.

He was government spokesperson and deputy minister to President Anastasiades and had previously turned down other ministerial offers.

Koushos is a trusted colleague of the President and was seen as the best’ short-term fix’ ahead of the elections next February.

He replaces Zeta Emilianidou, who died on 6 June in a private hospital in Greece after suffering a brain aneurysm rupture.

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

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