NICOSIA – The funeral of Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos, who died on Saturday a day after suffering an extensivee brain haemmhorage, will be held at noon on Monday in Larnaca, government spokesman said on Saturday evening..
He said the funeral will be officiated by Archibishop Chrysostomos. The funeral oration will be delivered by President Anastasiades.
Speaking to reporters after an extraordinary session of cabinet late on Saturday, the spokesman said the government had declared three days of mourning beginning on Sunday. Flags will fly at half mast at army camps and government buildings.
Before the start of the cabinet meeting, ministers marked a minute’s silence in tribute to their deceased colleague. A photograph and a bouquet of white roses were put on the table as cabinet met.
Mitsopoulos, aged 48, died at 1.30pm on Saturday. Tributes have been pouring 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 forever.
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 ethos, 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 the defence minister.
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.