Greece Political Turmoil in the 1920s
Source: The Library of Congress Country Studies
During most of the 1920s, Greece was racked by political turmoil. Only under duress did the military release its grip on the political power it gained in 1922, and the National Schism was reflected in the two factions of the military--so coups and attempted coups occurred quite regularly between 1923 and 1936 (except for the period 1928-32). When the Plastiras government gave way to a democratically elected regime led by Venizelos in 1924, stability seemed within reach. But after assessing the serious splits that had now appeared in his own ranks, most notably over the issue of maintaining or abolishing the monarchy, Venizelos again withdrew into exile. At that point, in March 1924, the monarchy was rejected overwhelmingly in a plebiscite, and Greece was declared a republic--although a republican constitution did not emerge until 1927.
The change of government form could not stem the political unrest, however. Between 1924 and 1928, ten prime ministers held office, two presidents were deposed and one resigned, and eleven military coups occurred. This was one of Greece's darkest periods, culminating in 1926 with the ouster of the military dictatorship of General Theodoros Pangalos and the installation of an "ecumenical cabinet" that dealt with the hopeless deadlock of Venizelist and anti-Venizelist factions by representing all political parties in the executive branch. This unique arrangement lasted until 1928; it produced the republican constitution of 1927, which vested many of the monarch's former powers in a presidency and added a second legislative chamber.
Data as of December 1994
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