Vassos Lyssarides

Vassos Lyssarides (born 13 May 1920) is a Cypriot politician and physician who has been a central figure in Cyprus politics since the island's independence. He was born in 1920 in the village of Pano Lefkara. He was educated at the Pancyprian Gymnasium and then studied medicine at the University of Athens.

Vassos Lyssarides
Vassos Lyssarides.jpg
Lyssarides in 2011
6th President of the House of Representatives
In office
30 December 1985 – 30 May 1991
Preceded byGeorgios Ladas
Succeeded byAlexis Galanos
1st President of EDEK
In office
Succeeded byYiannakis Omirou
Personal details
Born (1920-05-13) 13 May 1920 (age 100)[1]
Pano Lefkara, Cyprus
Political partyEDEK
  • Barbara Cornwall
    (m. 1963; died 2019)

Political careerEdit

He became involved in politics early on in his life as a medical student in Athens, campaigning for Enosis (Union of Cyprus with Greece), and as a doctor he took an active part in the armed anti-colonial struggle of EOKA for Enosis against the British (1955-1959). He participated in the London conference in 1959 for the establishment of Cyprus independence and, along with Tassos Papadopoulos, were the only ones to disagree with the Zurich-London Agreements. In 1960 he was elected member of the first parliament of the Cyprus Republic as a candidate for the Patriotic Front,[3] and since then has been re-elected to all the consecutive parliaments.

In November 1964, Lyssarides and Tassos Papadopoulos organized the visit of Andreas Papandreou (son of then-Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou) to Cyprus; during this visit, a very close friendship developed between Papandreou and Archbishop Makarios; later, after the imposition of the military junta in Greece, Lyssarides was instrumental in assisting Papandreou and his Panhellenic Liberation Movement (PAK) with arms, money and training.[4] After Andreas Papandreou became Prime Minister of Greece, Lyssarides was considered his closest associate in Cyprus

In 1969, he founded EDEK, the first Socialist political party of Cyprus. He was repeatedly elected president of his party until the year 2002. EDEK's appeal was "strongest among non-communist leftists, intellectuals, and white-collar workers."[5] In 2002, he assumed the title of Honorary President.

On 30 August 1974, an attempt was made against Lyssarides's life; during the attack, EDEK youth leader Doros Loizou was killed.[6] Lyssarides was elected and served as President of the House of Representatives from 1985 to 1991.

Views on the Cyprus problemEdit

Lyssarides has a hard-line stance on the Cyprus Problem and strongly opposes a possible "bi-zonal and bi-communal federation" as a basis for negotiations, describing such a federation as the very definition of racism; he also argues for the termination of British sovereign rights on the island and the eviction of British military bases,[7] unless the British start taking a more pro-Greek role in the dispute.


  1. ^ "ΒΑΣΟΣ Λυσσαριδης". Lyssarides Foundation. p. Greek. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  2. ^ "ΒΑΡΒΑΡΑ CORNWALL ΛΥΣΣΑΡΙΔΟΥ". (in Greek). Lyssarides Foundation. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  3. ^ Larkou, Larkos (January 2008). ΔΕΚΑ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΕΣ ΦΥΣΙΟΓΝΩΜΙΕΣ ΤΗΣ ΚΥΠΡΟY (Ten Political figures of Cyprus).
  4. ^ Τσίμας, Κώστας (2004). Σελίδες Ζωής: Αγώνες για την Ελευθερία και τη Δημοκρατία. Αθήνα: εκδόσεις Προσκήνιο, σελ. προλόγου. ISBN 978-960-8318-23-6.
  5. ^ Eric Solsten, ed. Cyprus: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress
  6. ^ "Greek Cypriot civil war feared after ambush". The Times. August 31, 1974. pp. 1, Issue 59180, col B. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  7. ^ Eric Solsten, ed. Cyprus: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress