Liberal Party (Greece)

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Party of Liberals
Κόμμα Φιλελευθέρων
Founder Eleftherios Venizelos
Founded 1910
Dissolved 1961
Preceded by New Party
Succeeded by Centre Union
Ideology Liberalism,
Venizelism,
Greek nationalism,[1]
Megali Idea
Republicanism,
Democracy
Civic nationalism
Political position Centre
Politics of Greece
Political parties
Elections

The Liberal Party (Greek: Κόμμα Φιλελευθέρων, IPA: [ˈkoma file̞le̞fˈthe̞ron], literally "Party of Liberals") 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.

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
(year links to election page)
Year Type of Election Votes % Mandates
November 1910
Parliament
307
May 1915
Parliament
335,949
48.9
187
1920
Parliament
375,803
50.23
118
1923
Parliament
250
1926
Parliament
304,727
31.70
108
1928
Parliament
46.9
178
1932
Parliament
398,779
34.04
98
1932
Senate
39.46
16
1933
Parliament
33.3
80
1936
Parliament
37.3
126
1946
Parliament
159,525
14.39
48
1950
Parliament
17.24
56
1951
Parliament
19.04
57
1958
Parliament
20.67
36

Prominent members[edit]

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

Leaders[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roudometof, Victor (2002), Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question, Praeger Publishers, p. 98