Emanuel Malelis, a controversial Greek businessman and former diplomat with extensive ties to Macedonia, has reportedly died from the coronavirus. This was reported by daily Vecer, who reports that Malelis, best known in Macedonia as “Manoli”, contracted the virus in Cyprus and died after several days of treatment.

He worked in the Greek diplomatic mission in Skopje in the murky early days of Macedonian independence, before becoming an influential person in a number of Greek businesses in Macedonia. Malelis would frequently be seen with politicians and intelligence figures in Macedonia and was an unofficial back channel in the name talks.