Alexandros Zaimis

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His Excellency
Alexandros Zaimis
Αλέξανδρος Ζαΐμης
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Zaimis circa 1915
President of
the Second Hellenic Republic
In office
1929–1935
Preceded by Pavlos Kountouriotis
Succeeded by Georgios Kondylis (as Regent)
Constituency Kalavryta
Prime Minister of Greece
In office
December 4, 1926 – July 4, 1928
President Pavlos Kountouriotis
Preceded by Georgios Kondilis
Succeeded by Eleftherios Venizelos
In office
February 5, 1917 – June 27, 1917
Monarch Constantine I
Preceded by Spyridon Lambros
Succeeded by Eleftherios Venizelos
In office
June 22, 1916 – September 16, 1916
Monarch Constantine I
Preceded by Stephanos Skouloudis
Succeeded by Nikolaos Kalogeropoulos
In office
October 7, 1915 – November 7, 1915
Monarch Constantine I
Preceded by Eleftherios Venizelos
Succeeded by Stephanos Skouloudis
In office
November 25, 1901 – December 6, 1902
Monarch Constantine I
Preceded by Georgios Theotokis
Succeeded by Theodoros Deligiannis
In office
October 3, 1897 – April 14, 1899
Monarch Constantine I
Preceded by Dimitrios Rallis
Succeeded by Georgios Theotokis
High Commissioner of Crete
In office
September 18, 1906 – September 24, 1908
Monarch Constantine I
Preceded by Prince George of Greece
Succeeded by (Unification with Greece unilaterally declared)
Personal details
Born (1855-11-09)November 9, 1855
Athens, Greece
Died September 15, 1936(1936-09-15) (aged 80)
Vienna, Austria
Residence Kerpini, Kalavryta, Achaia prefecture, Peloponnese, Greece
Occupation Politician
Religion Orthodox Christian

Alexandros Zaimis (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Ζαΐμης) (9 November 1855 – 15 September 1936) was a Greek Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior, Minister of Justice, and High Commissioner of Crete. He served as Prime Minister six times.

Early Life and Family[edit]

He was born in Athens and was the son of Thrasyvoulos Zaimis, a former Prime Minister of Greece, and Eleni Mourouzi. His brother was Asimakis Zaimis. On his father's side he was the grandson of Andreas Zaimis, another former Prime Minister of Greece, and related to the great Kalavrytan family with notable participation in the Greek War of Independence from 1821. From his mother's side he was a descendent of an important Fanariote family of the Mourozidon. His family lived in Kerpini, Kalavryta in the Achaia prefecture.

He studied law at the University of Athens and at the University of Heidelberg. He also attended the universities of Leipzig, Paris and Berlin.

Political career[edit]

Alexandros became involved in politics after the death of his father who was the elected member of parliament for Kalavryta. He became a Member of Parliament in 1885. He served as Minister of the Interior and Justice Minister in Theodoros Deligiannis' government (1890–92) and Leader of the House (1895-97). He became Prime Minister for the first time in 1897.

Appointment as High Commissioner[edit]

In 1906, he was appointed as Ipatos Armostis (High Commissioner) of Crete[1] and presided over a critical period of the island's history up to the de facto union of Crete with Greece in 1908.

Re-elected as Prime Minister[edit]

Alexandros Zaimis was re-elected as Prime Minister a further five times. He was appointed Prime Minister under King Constantine I to succeed Venizelos in October 1915, but resigned a month later when his government failed to receive a vote of confidence. In 1917, Zaimis served again as Prime Minister under King Constantine I, while Eleftherios Venizelos led a rival government controlling northern Greece. Under Entente pressure, he resigned in favor of Venizelos in June of the same year. During World War I, he was generally supposed to favor neutrality for Greece, but to be personally in favor of the Allies.

A moderate conservative, he served again as Prime Minister from 1926 to 1928 in a coalition government of Venizelist and moderate conservatives.

Zaimis was elected the fourth and last President of the Second Hellenic Republic in 1929. He was reelected in 1933. However, only two years into his second term, he was thrown out of office by Prime Minister Georgios Kondylis, who abolished the Republic and proclaimed himself regent pending the results of a referendum on restoring the monarchy. This referendum resulted in George II being recalled to the throne by almost 98 percent of the vote, an implausibly high total that could have only been obtained through fraud.

Death and Legacy[edit]

He died on 15 September 1936 in Vienna, Austria and was buried in the First Cemetery of Athens. He was married without children. The political legacy of his family was continued by his siblings and cousins.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Svolopoulos, The Period of Autonomy, p. 479.

Sources[edit]

  • Svolopoulos, Konstantinos (1988). "Η Περίοδος της Αυτονομίας ("The Period of Autonomy")". In Panagiotakis, Nikolaos M. Crete, History and Civilization (in Greek) II. Vikelea Library, Association of Regional Associations of Regional Municipalities. pp. 459–492. 
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Zaimis, Alexander". Encyclopedia Americana. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Dimitrios Rallis
Prime Minister of Greece
October 3, 1897 – April 14, 1899
Succeeded by
Georgios Theotokis
Preceded by
Georgios Theotokis
Prime Minister of Greece
November 25, 1901 – December 6, 1902
Succeeded by
Theodoros Deligiannis
Preceded by
Prince George of Greece
High Commissioner of Crete
September 18, 1906 – September 24, 1908
Succeeded by
(Unification with Greece)
Antonios Michelidakis1
Preceded by
Eleftherios Venizelos
Prime Minister of Greece
October 7, 1915 – November 7, 1915
Succeeded by
Stephanos Skouloudis
Preceded by
Stephanos Skouloudis
Prime Minister of Greece
June 22, 1916 – September 16, 1916
Succeeded by
Nikolaos Kalogeropoulos
Preceded by
Spyridon Lambros
Prime Minister of Greece
February 5, 1917 – June 27, 1917
Succeeded by
Eleftherios Venizelos
Preceded by
Georgios Kondilis
Prime Minister of Greece
December 4, 1926 – July 4, 1928
Succeeded by
Eleftherios Venizelos
Preceded by
Pavlos Kountouriotis
President of Greece
1929-1935
Succeeded by
Georgios Kondylis (as Regent)
Notes and references
1. Kitromilides, Paschalis (2006). Eleftherios Venizelos: The Trials of Statesmanship, p 88, ISBN 0-7486-2478-3