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New labour minister says will continue Zeta’s work

men in black
Photo: Christos Theodorides

Kyriacos Koushios was sworn in as labour minister at a ceremony at the presidential palace on Monday.

In addition, Petros Demetriou former director of the office of the president was also sworn in as undersecretary to the president – replacing Koushios – while Pantelis Pantelides, former secretary of the Presidency of the Republic was sworn in as director of the Office of the President.

“Today’s appointment decision is the most unpleasant I have received during my nine-year term as President. And it is unpleasant because, unintentionally, I am obliged by the Constitution to replace a person who honoured me with her friendship, a universally acclaimed colleague who adorned the cabinet and made my vision of a welfare state a reality,” President Nicos Anastasiades said at the ceremony.

Former Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou died earlier this month in and Athens hospital weeks after suffering a brain aneurism.

“I will not hide that I have mixed feelings leaving the Undersecretariat of the President and at the same time I am challenged in taking over the portfolio handled by a renowned Minister, our beloved Zeta. I want to assure you that I will complete what Zeta has set in motion,” new Labour Minister Kyriacos Koushios said.

Pending work at the labor ministry includes establishing a national minimum wage, reform of the pension system, legislative regulation of parental leave for those who have children up to eight years old, legislation on teleworking and the implementation of Cyprus Tomorrow National Plan.

Referring to Demetriou, the President praised his professionalism and performance in previous posts and expressed his confidence that he would continue in the same way.

Regarding the appointment of Pantelides, the president expressed confidence that he will contribute significantly to the smooth performance of the duties of the President of the Republic as the new Director of the Office of the President.

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