Vasiliou was born in Ammochostos on May 20, 1931. His father was a member of the central committee of AKEL, the Cypriot Communist party. He was a doctor by profession, and fought on the side of the communists in the Hellenic Civil War. After the end of civil war, Vasiliou's family settled in Eastern Europe. Vasiliou himself went to university in Hungary and was a student of Imre Nagy.
He was returned to Cyprus in 1963, became involved in politics and was elected president, with the support of AKEL, on February 21, 1988, succeeding Spyros Kyprianou, who had served two presidential terms. As President, he stopped the police practice of keeping files on Cypriot citizens' political beliefs. He worked towards a negotiated solution to the Cyprus dispute based on the Ghali set of ideas, although the dispute remained unresolved by the time he left office in 1993.
Vasiliou is an author of several books on a variety of subjects. He is married with three children: two daughters and a son.
|President of Cyprus