CYPRUS: Former president Christofias in ‘critical condition’

Former Cyprus president Demetris Christofias is in a critical condition after being admitted to hospital with a serious respiratory problem, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

A medical bulletin from the Health Ministry said Christofias, 72, was hospitalised at the Nicosia General Hospital’s transplant unit on May 18 and then transferred to intensive care on Monday suffering from a significant respiratory ailment.

His medical condition is considered critical, said a Health Ministry statement.

The ministry said it was in constant contact with doctors and any developments in the patient’s condition would be made public.

The seasoned politician became the sixth President of Cyprus from 2008 to 2013, becoming the European Union’s and Cyprus’ first communist head of state.

As a Russian speaker and Russia educated leader, he headed the communist party AKEL from 1988 until 2008. He also served as House speaker from 2001-2008.

His tenure as the first communist president was not a happy one as his popularity ratings plummeted as he was largely blamed for the crippling banking crisis in 2012 that led to the island needing an international bailout in March 2013.

The island’s biggest peacetime disaster also happened on his watch when 13 people (seven sailors and six firemen) died in a huge munition explosion at a naval base in Mari on 11 July 2011.

Junior coalition partners left the government following a public outcry for him to resign and a subsequent public inquiry said he should shoulder political responsibility for what happened.

Source: The Financial Mirror