History of the Hellenic Republic
The First Hellenic Republic
First Hellenic Republic" is the term used for a series of councils and "Provisional Governments" during the Greek War of Independence. In the first stages of the uprising, various areas elected their own regional governing councils. These were replaced by central administration at the First National Assembly of Epidaurusin early 1822, which also adopted the first Greek Constitution. A series of National Assemblies followed, while Greece was threatened with collapse due to civil war and the victories of Ibrahim Pasha. In 1827, the Third National Assembly at Troezenselected Count Ioannis Capodistriasas Governor of Greece for seven years. He arrived in 1828and established the "Hellenic State", ruling with quasi-dictatorial powers. He was assassinated by political rivals in 1831 and was succeeded by his brother, Augustinos Kapodistriasuntil the Great Powers declared Greece a Kingdom and selected the Bavarian Prince Otto to be its king.
The Second Hellenic Republic
The "Second Hellenic Republic" was declared on
March 25, 1924after the defeat of Greece by Turkeyin the Asia Minor Disasterof 1922and the subsequent exile and death of King Constantine I in 1923. The king and his political nemesis, Eleftherios Venizelos, had struggled over control of the country from 1915 to his death and the country was sorely divided (see National Schism). King Constantine was succeeded by his son, King George II, who was asked by the parliament to leave Greece so the nation could decide what form of government it should adopt, ultimately selecting a Republic.
The first President of the Hellenic Republic was
Pavlos Kountouriotis, an Admiral and supporter of Venizelos who resigned after a coup d'etatin 1925. He was succeeded by the coup's leader General Theodoros Pangalos, who was likewise deposed by the military 5 months later after embroiling Greece in the War of the Stray Dog. Kountouriotis was reinstated and reelected to the office in 1929, but was forced to resign for health reasons later that year. He was succeeded by Alexandros Zaimis, who served until the restoration of monarchy in 1935.
Despite a period of stability and relative prosperity under the last government of
Eleftherios Venizelosin 1928- 1932, the effects of the Great Depressionwere severely felt, and political instability returned. As the prospect of the return of the monarchy became evident, Venizelist officers launched a coup in March 1935, which was suppressed by General Georgios Kondylis. On October 10 1935, the chiefs of the Armed Forces overthrew the government of Panagis Tsaldaris, and Kondylis declared himself Regent. He abolished the Republic and staged a plebiscite on 11 November which resulted in return of the monarchy, in the person of King George II.
The Third Hellenic Republic
The current "Third Hellenic Republic" was declared in 1974 during the period of "
metapolitefsi" after the end of the Regime of the Colonelswhich had controlled Greece after the April 21, 1967coup.
The Junta had already held a staged plebiscite to abolish the monarchy on
29 July 1973, and passed a new Constitution which established a presidential republic(with the junta principal Georgios Papadopoulosas President). This short-lived attempt at controlled democratization was ended by Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannides' overthrow of Papadopoulos in November 1973. The Republic was maintained, but was nothing more than a façade for the military regime.
After the fall of the regime and the return to civilian rule in August
1974however, the legal and constitutional acts of the junta were deemed invalid, and a new plebiscite was held on December 13, 1974, which finally abolished the monarchy. A new Constitution was adopted that declared Greece a parliamentary democracy. This constitution, revised in 1985and 2001, is still in force today.
* [http://www.presidency.gr/ The President of the Hellenic Republic]
* [http://rulers.org/rulg2.html#greece List of Greek heads of state and government]
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