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Born on October 8th 1908 in the village of Kellaki, Limassol District, in Cyprus, Papaioannou worked as a miner, and then as a manual worker in the port of Piraeus. He moved to
He became a founding member of the Association of Cypriot Affairs which sought the expulsion of the British from
In 1936, he was part of a contingent of 60 Cypriots who volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War as part of the International Brigades. 15 of them died and Papaioannou was injured, being repatriated to
The Communist Party’s base amongst Cypriots began to grew strongly at this time and the Party maintained this through the Cypriot Advisory Committee, which Papaioannou participated in. The
In 1945, Papaioannou was asked by the Cypriot Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL), the local communist and workers’ party, to return to
In short order, he became the editor of the Party’s newspaper, then its General Secretary, a position he held for 40 years until his death. In 1960, following the independence of Cyprus from the British Empire, he was elected to the nation’s new parliament in which he served for 28 consecutive years up until his death on April 10th 1988.