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A brief history of the PIO

The PIO is the successor of the Public Information Office, which was established towards the end of World War II, at the time of British colonial rule. During the liberation struggle of the Greek Cypriots against the British (1955-59) the Office served as a propaganda instrument of the British administration under the direction of the well-known novelist, Lawrence Durrell.

After independence in 1960, Pavlos Xioutas became the first Director under the new government of the Republic of Cyprus. In 1965 the role of the Office was upgraded when the Director of the PIO was also appointed as Government Spokesman. The first Government Spokesman was Militiades Christodoulou.

The jurisdiction of the Office was further broadened after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 when the then President of the Republic, Archbishop Makarios, assigned to it the task of briefing world public opinion on the Cyprus problem.

In the years that followed, the PIO was renamed the Press and Information Office and in 1983 the posts of Government Spokesman and PIO Director were separated as the former is a political appointment and the latter a public service position.



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