Greek republic referendum, 1974

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Greek republic referendum, 1974

Location Greece
Date 8 December 1974
Results
Votes Of total
Yes check.svg Yes 3,245,111 69.18%
X mark.svg No 1,445,875 30.82%
Valid votes 4,690,986 99.39%
Invalid or blank votes 28,801 0.61%
Total votes 4,719,787 100.00%
Voter turnout 75.58%
Electorate 6,244,539
Results by constituency
Greek referendum 1974 map.svg
  >90–100% Yes
  >80–90% Yes
  >75–80% Yes
  >70–75% Yes
  >65–70% Yes
  >60–65% Yes
  >55–60% Yes
  >50–55% Yes
  >45–50% Yes
  >40–45% Yes
  >35–40% Yes
Coat of arms of Greece (colour).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Greece

A referendum on retaining the republic was held in Greece on 8 December 1974.[1] After the collapse of the military junta that ruled the country from 1967, the issue of the form of government remained unsolved. The Junta had already staged a plebiscite held on 29 July 1973, which resulted in the establishment of the Republic. However, after the fall of the military regime, the new government, under Constantine Karamanlis, decided to hold another one, as Junta legal acts were considered illegal. Constantine II, the former King, was banned by the new government from returning to Greece to campaign in the referendum, but the Karamanlis government allowed him to make a televised address to the nation.[2] The proposal was approved by 69.2% of voters with a turnout of 75.6%.[3]

Campaign[edit]

The referendum campaign included television debates in which Constantine himself took part on the monarchist side, whilst those debating in favour of a republic included Marios Ploritis, Leonidas Kyrkos, Phaedon Vegleris, George Koumandos, Alexandros Panagoulis and Costas Simitis, who later (from 1996 to 2004) served as Prime Minister of Greece.

Political parties abstained from taking part in the referendum campaign, with the television debates confined to ordinary citizens who represented one side or the other. On 23 November 1974 Prime Minister Karamanlis requested that his parliamentary party group adopt a neutral stance on the issue. Two televised speeches a week were given to each side, with an additional two messages broadcast by the former king; a radio broadcast on 26 November and a television speech on 6 December.

Results[edit]

On the day of the referendum, the electorate voted categorically in favour of republic. Crete gave more than 90% of its vote for a republic, whilst in around thirty constituencies the result for republic was around 60–70%. The biggest wins for monarchy were in Peloponnisos and Thrace, with around 45%. The constituencies with the highest votes for a monarchy were Laconia at 59.52%, Rhodope at 50.54%, Messenia with 49.24%, Elis at 46.88% and Argos at 46.67%.

Choice Votes %
For 3,245,111 69.2
Against 1,445,875 30.8
Invalid/blank votes 28,801
Total 4,719,787 100
Registered voters/turnout 6,244,539 75.6
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

By region[edit]

Region FOR (%) AGAINST (%)
Athens A 75.60 24.40
Athens B 79.59 20.41
Aetolia-Acarnania 65.63 34.67
Argolis 53.33 46.67
Arkadia 56.99 43.01
Arta 56.21 43.79
Achaea 68.54 31.46
Kavala 73.64 26.36
Boeotia 65.46 35.24
Corfu 63.47 36.53
Drama 67.41 32.59
Dodecanese 63.78 36.22
Evros 60.27 39.73
Evrytania 60.69 39.31
Euboea 65.38 34.62
Grevena 61.20 38.80
Heraklion 89.43 10.57
Ilia 53.12 46.88
Ioannina 68.70 31.30
Imathia 71.77 28.23
Thessaloniki A 79.99 20.01
Thessaloniki B 68.12 31.88
Thesprotia 64.21 35.79
Zante 62.63 37.37
Karditsa 68.79 31.21
Kastoria 55.74 44.26
Cephalonia 66.17 33.83
Kilkis 59.71 40.29
Kozani 66.11 33.89
Corinthia 62.36 37.64
Cyclades 61.72 38.28
Larissa 67.82 32.18
Laconia 40.48 59.52
Lasithi 88.42 11.58
Lesvos 77.74 22.26
Lefkada 71.22 28.78
Magnesia 71.25 28.75
Messenia 50.76 49.24
Xanthi 53.75 46.25
Piraeus A 71.95 28.05
Piraeus B 81.70 18.30
Pella 65.09 34.91
Pieria 65.54 34.46
Preveza 62.01 37.99
Rethymno 94.10 5.90
Rodopi 49.46 50.54
Samos 64.38 35.62
Serres 64.82 35.18
Trikala 67.40 32.60
Attica 65.07 34.93
Fthiotida 63.58 36.42
Florina 60.36 39.64
Fokida 62.44 37.56
Chalcidice 58.17 41.83
Chania 92.70 7.30
Chios 72.95 27.05

Aftermath[edit]

With the announcement of the results, Karamanlis said: "A cancer has been removed from the body of the nation today."[citation needed] On 15 December 1974, the incumbent President, Phaedon Gizikis, submitted his resignation, and Karamanlis thanked him with a personal visit and in writing for his services to the country. On 18 December 1974, Michail Stasinopoulos, a state list MP for New Democracy, was elected and sworn in as temporary President of Greece.[citation needed]

In February 1988, Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis stated in an interview given in London that, although he was a republican, the manner in which the referendum was carried out was "unfair".[citation needed] The statement attracted wide criticism in Greece at the time and was debated in the media.[citation needed]

In April 2007, the newspaper To Vima carried out a survey in which only 11.6% of those polled wished for Greece to become a monarchy again.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p830 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Hope, Kevin. Referendum plan faces hurdles. Financial Times 1 November 2011.
  3. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p838