Liberal Party (Greece)
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|Founded||22 August 1910|
|Preceded by||New Party|
|Merged into||Centre Union|
|Colours||Orange and green|
|Politics of Greece
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The Liberal Party (Greek: Κόμμα Φιλελευθέρων, [ˈkoma filelefˈtheron] ( ), literally "Party of Liberals") also renamed National Progressive Centre Union in 1952, 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.
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).
(year links to election page)
|Year||Type of Election||Votes||%||Mandates|
(Name, highest office as a party member, year)
- Eleftherios Venizelos, leader, Prime Minister (1910)
- Georgios Kafantaris, Prime Minister (1924)
- Andreas Michalakopoulos, Prime Minister (1924)
- Sophoklis Venizelos, Prime Minister (1944)
- Georgios Papandreou, Prime Minister (1946)
- Konstantinos Mitsotakis, MP (1946)
- Συμπόσιο για τον Ελευθέριο Βενιζέλο. Benaki Museum. 1988. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- Roudometof, Victor (2002), Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question, Praeger Publishers, p. 98
- The Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy Yearbook 2010. Springer. 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Register of Senators and Deputies" 1. National Printing House, Hellenic Parliament. 1977. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- Party Transformations in European Democracies. State University of New York Press. 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- 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.
- "Register of Senators and Deputies" 2. National Printing House, Hellenic Parliament. 1977. Retrieved 28 February 2013.