Cyrprus declares four days of mourning after death of ex-President Demetris Christofias

Cyrprus’ government on Saturday declared four days of mourning after the death of former president Demetris Christofias on Friday.

A state funeral for Christofias, 72, will take place a 5 p.m. Tuesday at the church of Ayia Sophia in Nicosia, the government announced after a cabinet meeting. He will buried at the cemetery in Makedonitissa.

Christofias, who served as Cyprus’ sixth president from 2008 to 2013, was in Nicosia general hospital’s intensive care unit since May 20 after being admitted with acute respiratory problems.

During the four days of mourning, all state public events would be postponed and all the flags in public offices will be flying at half-mast until the day of the funeral on Tuesday, which will be a public holiday, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said.

Andros Kyprianou, the general secretary of the Communist Party of Cyprus, will deliver the eulogy.

Christofias was the general secretary of the party and the only Communist head of state in the entire European Union.

President Nicos Anastasiades posted on Twitter that the former leader was a “politician who for years marched in parallel marches, but always for the good of the place.”

He chose not to run for a second term in the island nation in the Mediterranean, citing not being able to achieve his “life’s vision” of reunifying the country that had been split since Turkey invaded in 1974 after a coup by supporters uniting with Greece.

“I will leave truly miserable, because what I had promised can’t happen given Turkey’s intransigence, so from here on in, Ill suffer along with you as a common citizen,” he had told municipal officials shortly before leaving office in 2013.

Cyprus is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.

ByAllen Cone