Liberal Party (Greece)

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This article is about the historical Liberal Party party dissolved in 1961. For the contemporary Liberal Party, see Liberal Party (Greece, modern).
Liberal Party
Κόμμα Φιλελευθέρων
Founder Eleftherios Venizelos
Founded 22 August 1910[1]
Dissolved 1961
Preceded by New Party
Merged into Centre Union
Ideology Greek nationalism[2]
Civic nationalism
Liberalism
Venizelism
Political position Centre[3]
Colours          Orange and green
Election symbol
Κ.Φ.[4]
Politics of Greece
Political parties
Elections

The Liberal Party (Greek: Κόμμα Φιλελευθέρων, [ˈkoma filelefˈtheron] ( ), literally "Party of Liberals") also renamed National Progressive Centre Union in 1952,[5] was one of the major Greek political parties of the early 20th century. It is most famous as the party of Eleftherios Venizelos. Other prominent politicians associated with it include Nikolaos Plastiras, Alexandros Papanastasiou and Georgios Papandreou (founder of the eponymous political dynasty).

The party was defined by its opposition to the monarchy, which became most dramatic during the National Schism, and its aggressive pursuit of the Megali Idea. Generally, it was supported by the middle class, wealthy members of the Greek diaspora and the people of the New Lands (Νέες Χώρες), those regions annexed to Greece through military conquest during the Balkan Wars and World War I. Since its founding, the party's emblem had been the anchor.[6]

History[edit]

Founded as the Xipoliton ("barefoot") party in Crete (then an autonomous region of the Ottoman Empire), its early leaders were Kostis Mitsotakis (grandfather of Konstantinos Mitsotakis) and Eleftherios Venizelos. After the annexation of Crete by Greece, Venizelos moved to Athens and turned the party into a national one, under the Fileleftheron (liberal) name in 1910. For the following 25 years, the fate of the party would be tied to that of Venizelos. The party was legally disbanded after the failed coup attempt led by Nikolaos Plastiras of 1935, although the organization remained active.

During World War II, a Greek government in exile was formed in Cairo, Egypt, with the assistance of the British. The government was formed almost entirely of prominent Liberals, including Georgios Papandreou and Sophoklis Venizelos, even as King George remained the official head of state. The party was reformed after the war, until it merged into Center Union (Enosi Kentrou) in 1961, under the leadership of Georgios Papandreou.

In 1980, Eleftherios Venizelos' grandson Nikitas founded a new party under the same name that claims to be the continuation of the original party, see Liberal Party (Greece, modern).

Electoral results[edit]

Results, 1910–1958[4][7]
(year links to election page)
Year Type of Election Votes % Mandates
1910 Parliamentary No data
307 / 362
1912 No data
146 / 181
1915 No data
189 / 316
1920 375,803  ?
118 / 369
1923 No data
250 / 398
1926 303,140 31.6
102 / 279
1928 477,502 46.9
178 / 250
1929 Senatorial 450,624 54.6
64 / 120
1932 Parliamentary 391,521 33.4
98 / 250
1932 Senatorial  ? 39.5
16 / 30
1933 Parliamentary 379,968 33.3
80 / 248
1936 474,651 37.3
126 / 300
1946 159,525 14.4
54 / 376
1950 291,083 17.2
56 / 263
1951 325,390 19.0
74 / 258
1956 No data
38 / 308
1958 795,445 20.7
36 / 300

Prominent members[edit]

(Name, highest office as a party member, year)

Leaders[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Συμπόσιο για τον Ελευθέριο Βενιζέλο. Benaki Museum. 1988. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Roudometof, Victor (2002), Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question, Praeger Publishers, p. 98 
  3. ^ The Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy Yearbook 2010. Springer. 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Register of Senators and Deputies" 1. National Printing House, Hellenic Parliament. 1977. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Party Transformations in European Democracies. State University of New York Press. 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Helen Gardikas-Katsiadakis (2006). 3. "Venizelos' Advent in Greek Politics, 1909-1912". Eleftherios Venizelos - The Trials of Statesmanship. Edinburgh University Press. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Register of Senators and Deputies" 2. National Printing House, Hellenic Parliament. 1977. Retrieved 28 February 2013.