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Cyprus declares three-day mourning in memory of late labour minister (updated)

Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou

Three days of mourning in honour of former Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou were announced by cabinet on Wednesday as they further detailed that she will lie in state prior to Friday’s funeral.

Cabinet honoured Emilianidou with a minute’s silence and white flowers, a white candle and a framed picture of her at the seat she typically occupied at the meetings.

“We are deeply moved and remember Zeta with the fondest of memories,” Justice Minister Stephie Drakou told reporters before the meeting, expressing her gratitude for the work she achieved, for the love of the people which she earned and “for the incredible person who I got to know and work with”.

The passing of the political stalwart on Monday night has also led to the decision for flags to stay at half-mast at state buildings until the funeral, along with the postponement of all public events which include members of the government.

Cabinet also decided that the late minister will be buried with the honours of an acting minister and that the state will pay for the funeral, which is to be held at Ayia Sophia church in Strovolos. She will lie in state between 8am and 10am, with the funeral to be held at 11am.

President Nicos Anastasiades will deliver a eulogy.

It was also announced that whichever civil servants wish to attend the funeral may do so, including teachers and members of the national guard.

A condolences book will also be made available at the labour ministry and will be open between 12am and 3pm on Wednesday, 9:45am and 3pm on Thursday and Friday between 8am and 3pm.

Anastasiades and other members of the cabinet will sign the condolences boot at 9.15am on Thursday.

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides told reporters at the presidential palace that Emilianidou was a selfless minister whose memory will live on, but unfortunately left too soon.

Emilianidou spent three weeks in a medically induced coma in the ICU of the Ygeia medical centre in Athens after suffering a cerebral aneurism on May 15. She was transported there by emergency air-ambulance for treatment, where she underwent a lengthy surgery.

Anastasiades spoke with members of Emilianidou’s family on Tuesday to convey his deep sadness on the loss of a friend, minister and associate, the presidency said in a written statement.

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