Spyros Kyprianou

Spyros Kyprianou
Σπύρος Κυπριανού
Spyros Kyprianou 1981 crop.jpg
2nd President of Cyprus
In office
3 September 1977 – 28 February 1988
Vice President vacant
Preceded by Makarios III
Succeeded by George Vassiliou
8th President of the House of Representatives
In office
June, 1996 – 2001
Preceded by Alexis Galanos
Succeeded by Demetris Christofias
3rd President of the House of Representatives
In office
June, 1976 – 1977
Preceded by Tassos Papadopoulos
Succeeded by Alekos Michaelides
1st President of DIKO
In office
Succeeded by Tassos Papadopoulos
Personal details
Born (1932-10-28)28 October 1932
Died (2002-03-12)12 March 2002 (aged 69)
Political party Democratic Party (Dimokratikon Komma)
Spouse(s) Mimi Pagathrokliton (1956–2002; his death)
Children Markos Kyprianou
Alma mater City of London College
Gray's Inn

Spyros Achilleos Kyprianou (Greek: Σπύρος Κυπριανού; 28 October 1932 – 12 March 2002) was one of the most prominent politicians and barristers of modern Cyprus. He served as the second President of Cyprus from 1977 to 1988.

Spyrou Kyprianou Avenue (Greek: Λεωφόρος Σπύρου Κυπριανού) in Nicosia was named after him posthumously.

Early life and education

Kyprianou was born in Limassol in 1932. He studied Economics and Commerce at the City of London College and law at Gray΄s Inn. He also studied comparative law, receiving a diploma.[1]

Political career

During the time he spent in London as a student, Kyprianou founded the National Union of Cypriot Students in England (E.F.E.K.A.) of which he was the first President. In 1952 he was appointed Secretary of Archbishop Makarios in London and in 1954 he assumed responsibility for the Office of the Secretary of the Cyprus Ethnarchy in London, the major objective of which was to inform British public opinion on the Cyprus issue. This effort was intensified after the start of the liberation struggle in Cyprus in 1955. Due to this activity, he was forced to leave the UK in June 1956 and went to Greece. There, he collaborated with the Panhellenic Committee for Self-Determination for Cyprus which aimed to raise the profile of the Cyprus case on the international scene.

From August 1956 to March 1957, Kyprianou represented the Cyprus Ethnarchy in New York. Later, he was allowed to return to his London post as representative of the Cyprus Ethnarchy. He stayed in London until the signing of the London – Zurich Agreements for the independence of Cyprus and returned to Cyprus with Archbishop Makarios in March 1959.

During the transitional period after the signing of the agreements on Cyprus, Kyprianou represented the Greek Cypriot side at the Athens Conference for the drafting of the Agreement on the Application of the Tripartite Alliance (Cyprus – Greece – Turkey), this was provided for in the London – Zurich Agreements.

After the declaration of the independence of Cyprus in August 1960, the President of the Republic of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios appointed Kyprianou Minister of Justice and, a few days later, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

As Minister of Foreign Affairs, he repeatedly represented Cyprus at the UN Security Council, and in sessions of the U.N. General Assembly during debates on the Cyprus issue. He also participated in meetings of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, of which he served as Chairman from April to December 1967. In addition, he visited countries and represented Cyprus in negotiations with foreign governments.

In September 1964, in Moscow, he signed the Agreement for Soviet Military Aid to Cyprus.

He resigned from his post as Minister of Foreign Affairs on 5 May 1972, after a dispute with the military regime in Athens.

After this resignation, he worked as a lawyer and a legal counsellor. On 1 August 1974, following the coup of the Greek junta and the Turkish invasion in Cyprus, Kyprianou went to Athens where he had talks with the Government of National Unity, which took over following the collapse of the junta. He travelled between Athens and London where President Makarios was staying temporarily. In September 1974, he headed the Cyprus delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations during the debate on Cyprus. In February 1975, he attended the Security Council meeting in New York as member of the Cyprus delegation.

On 12 May 1976, he announced the establishment of the Democratic Party.[2] In the parliamentary elections of 5 September 1976, the Democratic Party won 21 seats out of a total of 35 in the House of Representatives, and Kyprianou was elected President of the House.

After the death of the President of the Republic Archbishop Makarios on 3 August 1977, Kyprianou became Acting President of the Republic, in accordance with the constitution. On 3 September 1977, he was unanimously elected President of the Republic to serve the remaining term of office of Archbishop Makarios.

Kyprianou's eldest son Achilles was kidnapped by members of EOKA on the evening of 14 December 1977. Achilles was later released on 18 December.[3][4]

In the presidential elections of 28 February 1978, and 13 February 1983, he was reelected as President of the Republic, the first time being elected unopposed. He was defeated by George Vassiliou at the elections in 1988.

As President of the Republic of Cyprus, he visited many countries and participated in sessions of the United Nations, as well as summit conferences of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Kyprianou was awarded medals of honour, distinctions and decorations by various countries. In 1985, the University of Belgrade awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Following the parliamentary elections of 26 May 1996, Kyprianou was elected President of the House of Representatives. He stepped down in 2001, ending a 30-year career in politics.[5]


Kyprianou married Mimi Pagathrokliton in 1956 and had two sons, Achilleas and Markos.[6] His second son, Markos Kyprianou, served as a European Commissioner from 2004 to 2008 and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus.


Spyros Kyprianou died on 12 March 2002 after a long fight with cancer.[7] He was survived by his wife, Mimi Pagathrokliton, and their two sons.[6]


  1. ^ Butt, Gerald (14 March 2002). "Obituaries > Spyros Kyprianou". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 7 January 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ LEWIS, PAUL (14 March 2002). "Spyros Kyprianou, 69, Former President of Cyprus, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 January 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Newton, Michael (7 August 2002). The Encyclopedia of Kidnappings. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9781438129884.
  4. ^ "Kidnapers Seize Son of Cyprus' President". 16 December 1977. Retrieved 7 August 2019 – via www.washingtonpost.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Demetriou, Melina. "Kyprianou bids adieu". Cyprus Mail. Retrieved 23 July 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b Lewis, Paul (14 March 2002). "Spyros Kyprianou, 69, Former President of Cyprus, Dies". New York Times. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  7. ^ "OBITUARY: Spyros Kyprianou, defiant to the last". Cyprus Mail. 13 March 2002. Retrieved 15 August 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[dead link]

External links

Media related to Spyros Kyprianou at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Archbishop Makarios III
President of Cyprus
1977– 1988
Succeeded by
George Vassiliou
Preceded by
Alexis Galanos
President of the House of Representatives
1996– 2001
Succeeded by
Dimitris Christofias