Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Glafkos Clerides: hundreds pay their respects

Hundreds of people lined up on Monday to pay tribute to former president Glafcos Clerides who died on Friday at the age of 94.

Clerides will lie in state on Monday between 9am and 7pm, giving the public the opportunity to bid farewell before his funeral on Tuesday.

“His legacy is his vision and pragmatism and the honour and pride with which he carried himself,” said 65-year-old teacher Andreas Aspros with a tear in his eye.

Aspros’ wife Eleni, 64, who worked at the presidential palace when Clerides was in power, said the former president dedicated all his time to Cyprus and its political problem.

“He was a great person and treated everyone with respect no matter their political affiliation,” she said.

Tributes were also pouring in from foreign dignitaries and heads of state who have either worked with him or met him during his long political career.

The Turkish foreign ministry also issued a statement expressing sadness, reportedly the first time it has done so for a Greek Cypriot leader.

Clerides dedicated 70 years to his country and the majority of that to politics so he deserves a final farewell said 38-year-old pilot Pambos Eleftheriou, who also hails from the village of Agros, as the former president.

“He was an honest man and consistently gave so much over so many years setting an example for those who will try to follow in his footsteps,” he said.

Rita Georgiadou, 60, told the Mail that she felt like she had lost a close relative, such was her love and admiration for Clerides.

“I feel like my father has died, I loved him dearly. He was the best politician this country has ever seen and may ever see and no-one, not even his detractors, can deny what a great person he was,” she said.

She added that she hoped others would take Clerides’ example and show the same patriotism and ethos the former president showed.

“He never thought of personal gain, he never tried to take advantage of his position for financial gain, all he ever cared about was the fate of his country,” she said.

A special digital book of condolences will also be made available at www.clerides.org for those wishing to pay their respects online who have been unable to visit the church.

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