Sotirios Sotiropoulos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sotirios Sotiropoulos

Sotirios Sotiropoulos (Greek: Σωτήριος Σωτηρόπουλος; Nafplio, 1831 – Athens, 1898) was a Greek economist and politician who briefly served as Prime Minister of Greece.

Biography[edit]

Sotiropoulos was born in Nafplio in 1831. He went to Athens to study law at the University of Athens, but was forced to interrupt his studies due to illness. Instead he turned to his other passion, Economics.[1] In 1853 he was accepted as a tax inspector in the Ministry of Finances, and served in this capacity in various provincial towns. His rise was quick: by 1856 he was department head and soon after general secretary of the Customs Department. From this position he reformed the Customs service and rote a new set of regulations for it, and suggested other reforms such as the abolition of the tithe. For his services, King Otto awarded him the Silver Cross of the Order of the Redeemer.[1]

Following the ousting of Otto in 1862, Sotiropoulos entered politics, and was elected as a representative for Triphylia in the II National Assembly of 1862–64. He served as Finance Minister in the 1864–65 Constantine Kanaris cabinet, and was then nominated for president of the Court of Audit, but refused the post and instead focused on his parliamentary career: he was almost repeatedly re-elected from 1865 to 1895.[1] A supporter of Alexandros Koumoundouros, after the latter's death in 1883 he served as an independent, criticizing both Charilaos Trikoupis and Theodoros Deligiannis, the two dominant and rival figures of Greek politics after Koumoundouros' death. In the 1887 elections he even led his own group of nine MPs.[1] During this time, he was elected twice Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament, in 1878–79 and 1879–80, and served as Finance Minister in virtually all of Koumoundouros' cabinets (1865, 1870–71, 1875–76, 1880–82) as well as Justice Minister in 1880. His tenure in the Finance Ministry was marked by his personal integrity, a fight against corruption and mismanagement, and an effort to reduce spending and increase revenue.[1]

In May 1893, after the resignation of Trikoupis due to the country's impending default, Sotiropoulos was tapped by King George I to form a government as Prime Minister in co-operation with Dimitrios Rallis. Sotiropoulos held the Finance Ministry as well in this cabinet, but it proved shot-lived as he was forced to resign a few months later.[1] Sotiropoulos died in Athens in 1898.[1]

Writings[edit]

In 1866, Sotiropoulos was kidnapped and held by brigands and held for 36 days before he was ransomed for 60,000 drachmas. He recounted his time with the brigands in his book Τριάκοντα εξ ημερών αιχμαλωσία και διαβίωσις μετά των ληστών ("Thirty-six days captivity and life with the brigands"),[1] translated into English as The Brigands of the Morea: A Narrative of the Captivity of Mr. S. Soteropoulos (Saunders, Otley, and Company, 1868).

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Charilaos Trikoupis
Prime Minister of Greece
15 May – 30 October 1893
Succeeded by
Charilaos Trikoupis
Preceded by
Nikolaos Papamichalopoulos
Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament
29 November 1879 – 10 October 1880
Succeeded by
Andreas Avgerinos
Preceded by
Andreas Avgerinos
Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament
18 October 1878 – 6 July 1879
Succeeded by
Nikolaos Papamichalopoulos