Eleftherios Venizelos
18 March 1936:

Athens News

18 March 1936: Eleftherios Venizelos, the Cretan politician who was arguably the most influential and charismatic figure of modern Greek history, dies in Parisian exile. His death came one year after a failed coup d'etat by Venizelist officers had discredited the anti-royalist camp and led to the restoration of the Greek monarchy with an overwhelming referendum vote in favour of the return of King George II from exile in November 1935. Venizelos, who had tacitly backed the abortive coup, was forced to escape to Italy on 11 March 1935 and settle in Paris as a court martial in Athens sentenced him together with several of his military and civilian friends to death over the failed 'mutiny' on May 5. Under the inspiring leadership of Venizelos - several times prime minister and survivor of a 1933 attempt on his life . Greece's land gains during the Balkan Wars were spectacular. Following the Asia Minor disaster of 1922, Venizelos went on to preside over a new epoch of realpolitik in Greece's relations with Turkey, credited with charting a course of mutual understanding with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The Cretan elder statesman was buried on 29 March 1936 at his birthplace of Akrotiri, near Hania, with thousands of Cretans (photo) attending the burial ceremony ~ Dimitris Yannopoulos

(Posting date 30 March 2006)

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