Europe

Greece Between 1924 and 1935

The Republic (1924–35): After the Greco-Turkish War, the ongoing clashes between the supporters of Venizelos (“Venizelists”) and his opponents (“Antivenizelists”) strained Greek domestic politics. Under the impression of the military defeat in Asia Minor, after the abdication of Constantine I. Venizelists who came to power execute anti-Venizelist politicians in November 1922. During this time the Venizelists increasingly leaned towards the republican form of government, their opponents advocated the preservation of the monarchy. On March 25, 1924, the constituent national assembly ruled by the Venizelists and elected in December 1923 proclaimed the republic (confirmed by a referendum on April 13, 1924); King George II went into exile at the end of 1923. Presidents of the republic were 1924–26 and 1926–29 Pavlos Konduriotis (* 1854, † 1935), April to August 1926 Theodoros Pangalos (* 1878, † 1952) and 1929–35 Aléxandros Zaïmis (* 1855, † 1936). After the attempt by General Pangalos To establish a dictatorship in Greece in 1925/26, the National Assembly passed a parliamentary-democratic constitution in June 1927. Under the Prime Ministers Zaïmis (1926-28) and Venizelos (1928–32) After years of constant internal struggles, a period of greater internal political stability followed. The economic upswing that began in 1924-26 continued until the outbreak of the Great Depression, which hit Greece hard. Dependent on foreign financial aid, the Venizelos government sought to maintain debt servicing through foreign exchange control, credit restrictions and import restrictions, but then had to announce a moratorium. The drachma lost 75% of its value. Strikes broke out as living conditions deteriorated. In the elections of September 1932 and March 1933, the royalists achieved strong votes (in 1933 with smaller right-wing parties an absolute majority) and, with Panajotis Tsaldaris (* 1868, † 1936) 1932/33 and 1933–35 the Prime Minister. This development exacerbated radicalism on both the republican and royalist side. To prevent a restoration of the monarchy, republican groups attempted coups in March 1933 (General N. Plastiras) and in March 1935 (Venizelos).

In terms of foreign policy, the Venizelos government introduced a new line in the late 1920s with a policy of friendship treaties. After the friendship treaty with Italy (1928) and Yugoslavia (1929), she signed a friendship, neutrality and arbitration treaty with Turkey (1930). In 1934 the Tsaldari government concluded the Balkans Pact with Yugoslavia, Romania and Turkey.

The post-war period (1949–74): In the referendum of September 1, 1946, 68.3% of the votes cast voted for the monarchy. On September 27, 1946, George II returned to Athens. After his death, Paul (1947–64) and Constantine II (1964–73 / 74) succeeded him to the throne. 1944–52 numerous governments succeeded each other, v. a. as a result of the unstable majority in parliament. The constitution, revised in 1952, further developed the Greek parliamentary system.

At the head of the conservative Hellenistic gathering movement, which was transformed into the National Radical Union (ERE) in 1956, Marshal A. Papagos won a major electoral victory in 1952. Greece joined NATO in 1952 (temporarily leaving 1974-80) and in 1954 the Balkans Pact. After several years of negotiations, Greece, Great Britain and Turkey agreed in a “three-power treaty” (March 23, 1959) the establishment of an independent republic in Cyprus. An association agreement between Greece and the EEC (1961) came into force in 1962 (suspended from 1967–74). 1955–63 (with interruptions in 1958 and 1961) was K. Karamanlis from the ERE. Head of government; he put the country’s economy on a modern basis, but repeatedly came into conflict with the forces of the opposition on questions of the rule of law. In 1961, under the leadership of G. Papandreu, social democratic and liberal forces united in the Center Union (EC). On the extreme left, the United Democratic Left (EDA) had formed after the civil war. The murder of the FDFA MP Grigorios Lambrakis (* 1913, † 1963) by a terrorist organization of the extreme right on May 27, 1963 in Thessaloniki intensified the internal political differences again. After the resignation of Karamanlis and the victory of G. Papandreu’s party In the elections of 1963 and 1964 (absolute majority) he took over the office of Prime Minister, but after his dismissal by the young King Constantine II (July 15, 1965) got into a serious constitutional conflict with him; At the center of the dispute were Papandreus’ attempt to subject the military to greater civilian control and the king’s will to have a say in the leadership of the army and the selection of ministers.

In order to prevent the elections planned for May 1967, a conservative group of officers under Colonel G. Papadopulos established a dictatorial system of government after their coup d’état of April 21, 1967 (mass deportations, torture, harmonization of the press, establishment of concentration camps on Jaros and Leros, bloody suppression of the student protests of November 1973 in Athens by the army). After an unsuccessful counter-coup by Constantine II (December 1967) and his emigration, Prime Minister Papadopulos proclaimed the republic (June 1st, 1973) and was elected president. After a bloodless coup against him (25.11.1973) General Phaidon Gisikis (* 1917, † 1999) took over the presidency (until December 1974).

Since the 1960s, the Greek-Turkish tensions increased again and reached 1974 with the coup of Greek-Cypriot forces who sought an annexation of the island to Greece, against President Makarios (July 15, 1974) and the occupation of Northern Cyprus by Turkish troops a climax. The failure of the Athens-directed uprising in Cyprus led to the overthrow of the Greek military dictatorship.

Greece Between 1924 and 1935