Cyprus defence minister dies after brain haemorrhage: radio

Cyprus's recently appointed Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos died in hospital on Saturday, March 22, 2014, after suffering a brain haemorrhage, state media said. -- PHOTO: AFP
Cyprus's recently appointed Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos died in hospital on Saturday, March 22, 2014, after suffering a brain haemorrhage, state media said. -- PHOTO: AFP

NICOSIA (AFP) - Cyprus's recently appointed Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos died in hospital on Saturday after suffering a brain haemorrhage, state media said.

State radio said Mitsopoulos died at Nicosia General Hospital at 1.30 pm (1130 GMT).

Mitsopoulos, 48, was taken to hospital after reportedly being found unconscious by his secretary in his office at the ministry on Friday morning.

Expert neurosurgeons were flown in from Greece and Israel to assist doctors at Nicosia General Hospital but they were unable to reverse his condition.

Neurosurgeon Akis Lambrou told reporters on Friday that the minister had suffered a "subarachnoid haemorrhage".

Mitsopoulos was named defence minister on March 14 in a cabinet reshuffle by conservative President Nicos Anastasiades, who returned early from a European Union summit in Brussels to be at his bedside.

"The medical report says it all... only our prayers can help, I feel this is what it has come to," Anastasiades told reporters outside the hospital earlier on Saturday after a health bulletin said the minister's condition was "irreversible".

Mitsopoulos was seen as a rising star in the ruling right-wing DISY party, who he represented as an MP from 2006-2013. He was also served as party spokesman from 1999-2008 and worked for the Greek foreign ministry in the mid-1990s.

He previously held the communications portfolio when Anastasiades was elected president in February 2013.

Mitsopoulos is survived by his wife and two children.

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