NICOSIA: Cyprus’s recently appointed Defense Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos died Saturday, aged 48, after suffering a brain haemorrhage a day earlier, a hospital official said.
Mitsopoulos’s health “deteriorated further today and, despite the efforts made by doctors, the patient succumbed,” said Dr Theodoros Kyprianou, head of Nicosia General Hospital’s intensive care unit.
He said Mitsopoulos died at 1:30 p.m. local time.
Mitsopoulos was hospitalised Friday morning after reportedly being found unconscious by his secretary in his office at the ministry.
Expert neurosurgeons were flown in from Greece and Israel to assist doctors in Nicosia, but were unable to save him.
Mitsopoulos was named defence minister on March 14 in a Cabinet reshuffle by conservative President Nicos Anastasiades, a close friend, who returned early from an EU summit in Brussels to be at his bedside.
Earlier on Saturday, after a health bulletin said the minister’s condition was “irreversible,” Anastasiades told reporters “the medical report says it all… only our prayers can help. I feel this is what it has come to.”
Speaking after the announcement of Mitsopoulos’s death, Health Minister Philippos Patsalis said “his family and Cyprus has lost an outstanding man and an excellent politician.”
Mitsopoulos was seen as a rising star in the ruling right-wing DISY party, which he represented as an MP from 2006-2013. He also served as party spokesman from 1999-2008 and worked at the Greek Foreign Ministry in the mid-1990s.
Before moving to the Defense Ministry, he held the communications portfolio.
He is survived by his widow and two children.