4th of August Regime

The 4th of August Regime (Greek: Καθεστώς της 4ης Αυγούστου, Kathestós tis tetártis Avgoústou), commonly also known as the Metaxas regime (Greek: Καθεστώς Μεταξά, Kathestós Metaxá), was a totalitarian regime under the leadership of General Ioannis Metaxas that ruled the Kingdom of Greece from 1936 to 1941. On 4 August 1936, Metaxas, with the support of King George II, suspended the Greek parliament and went on to preside over a conservative, staunchly anti-communist government. The regime took inspiration in its symbolism and rhetoric from Fascist Italy, but retained close links to Britain and the French Third Republic, rather than the Axis powers. Lacking a popular base, after Metaxas' death in January 1941 the regime hinged entirely on the King. Although Greece was occupied following the German invasion of Greece in April 1941 and the Greek government was forced into exile in the Middle East, several prominent figures and features of the regime, notably the notorious security chief Konstantinos Maniadakis, survived for several months in cabinet until the King was forced to dismiss them in a compromise with the representatives of the old democratic political establishment.

Kingdom of Greece

Βασίλειον τῆς Ἑλλάδος
Vasílion tis Elládos
Motto: Eleftheria i Thanatos
Ελευθερία ή θάνατος
"Freedom or Death"
Anthem: 'Ýmnos is tin Eleftherían
Ὕμνος εἰς τὴν Ἐλευθερίαν
"Hymn to Freedom"
Hellenic Republic (1935)
Common languagesGreek language
Greek Orthodox
GovernmentUnitary Metaxist totalitarian dictatorship under a constitutional monarchy
• 1936–1941
George II
Prime Minister 
• 1936–1941
Ioannis Metaxas
• 1941
Alexandros Koryzis
• 1941
Emmanouil Tsouderos
• Established
4 August 1936
• End
May 1941
CurrencyGreek drachma
ISO 3166 codeGR
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Greece
Hellenic State (1941–1944)

Origins of the regime

Metaxas imposed his regime primarily to fight the turbulent social situation prevalent in Greece in the 1930s, in which political factionalization had disrupted Greek parliamentary democracy. The sinking credibility of the Parliament was accompanied by several coup attempts; in March 1935, a Venizelist putsch failed, and in the following October, elections reinforced the Royalist majority, which allowed the exiled King George II to return to Greece.

The king re-established the monarchy in the country, but the parliament, split into incompatible factions, was unable to shape a clear political majority so that the government could govern. Meanwhile, the increasing activity of the Communists, whose 15 deputies from the 1936 elections held the balance between 143 Monarchists and 142 Liberals, Agrarians, and Republicans, created a deadlock.

In May 1935 widespread agrarian unrest (tobacco farmers) and industrial unrest in the north of the country erupted, which eventually brought General Metaxas to suspend the parliament on the eve of a major strike, on 4 August 1936. Endorsed by the King, Metaxas declared a state of emergency, decreed martial law, annulled various articles of the constitution and established a crisis cabinet to put to an end the growing riots and to restore social order. In one of his first speeches, Metaxas announced: "I have decided to hold all the power I need for saving Greece from the catastrophes which threaten her."

Thus the Metaxas dictatorship was born, and the period of time which would follow was named after the day Metaxas rose to absolute power: the 4th of August. The new regime was backed by small extreme political parties, and by conservatives expecting a crackdown on the communists.

Classical influences

Young members of the Greek National Organisation of Youth (EON) hail in presence of Ioannis Metaxas.[1]

The roots of Metaxas' "New State" were sought in Greece's classical history. Metaxas thought Hellenic nationalism would galvanize "the heathen values of ancient Greece, specifically those of Sparta, along with the Christian values of the Medieval empire of Byzantium".[2] Ancient Macedonia was also glorified as the first political unifier of the Hellenes.[3] As its main symbol, the youth organization of the regime chose the labrys/pelekys, the symbol of ancient Minoan Crete.

The traditional Greek values of "Country, Loyalty, Family and Religion", which Metaxas praised repeatedly, were also close to those of the ancient Spartans. The regime promoted the perceived Spartan ideals of self-discipline, militarism and collective sacrifice, while Byzantium provided an emphasis on a centralized state and devotion to the monarchy and Greek Orthodox Church.[4]

External influences

Metaxas considered António Salazar's Estado Novo of Portugal his main inspiration and surrounded himself with elements from this and other dictatorial regimes of the time. Thus his main ideological slogan was also "New State" (Neon Kratos) and the 4th of August regime used its own military-like uniforms, greetings, songs and rituals, including the Roman salute (which Metaxas considered Greek in origin as a salutation to the sun god Apollo, and he referred to it as the "Hellenikos Hairetismos" ("Hellenic Hailing")).

In Metaxas' case we can speak as well of some characteristics typical of authoritarian states such as 1930s Italy and Germany: the regime's propaganda presented Metaxas as "the First Peasant", "the First Worker" and as "the National Father" of the Greeks. Like his contemporaries Hitler with Führer and Mussolini with Duce, Metaxas adopted the title of Archigos, Greek for "leader" or "chieftain", and claimed that his regime had to lay the foundations for the appearance of a glorious "Third Hellenic Civilization" combining the best of ancient Greece and the Greek Byzantine Empire of the Middle Ages.

Vatikiotis (Autocracy, Routledge, 1998) presents a view of Metaxas following the Russian notion of Byzantine autocracy. Yet it is important to note that these did not come from St Constantine, but from Diderot's enlightened despotism via correspondence with the German Mennonite of Anhalt-Zerbst, pretender to the Czarate, Catherine the Great. Bikelas' Seven Essays (Paisley, 1890) clearly show that Byzantium was not fascist, but the most democratic regime of its day, meticulously following the Roman and Athens Constitutions in ways Romans never did, including allowing the Senate to impeach emperors, veto imperial decrees, and requiring the Emperor to answer to the people at the Hippodrome. Indeed, some argue that the 1215 Magna Carta resulted from Baldwin's returning 1204 Crusaders plagiarizing the Byzantine governance they were forced to endure, so that the Metaxan notions of Autocracy were totally alien to Hellenism. Indeed, the Roman Senate endured as both the Byzantine Synkletos as well as the Turkish Divan.

Greek totalitarianism

The Metaxas regime sought to comprehensively change Greece, and therefore instituted controls on Greek society, politics, language, and the economy. In each of these, the Metaxas government resembled more closely the policies that Spain would adopt later on than those of their contemporaries Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy.

Greece since the 4th of August became an anticommunist State, an antiparliamentary State, a totalitarian State. A State based on its farmers and workers, and so antiplutocratic. There is not, of course, a particular party to govern. This party is all the People, except of the incorrigible communists and the reactionary old parties politicians.

— Ioannis Metaxas, [5]

Attempts at social control

Having come to power with the stated intent of restoring public order, Metaxas' state largely achieved this goal, under the supervision of what can be described as its most fascist member, minister of public order Konstantinos Maniadakis. Maniadakis created a second fake "communist party", published a fake "Rizospastis" and achieved the dissolution of all the communist organizations.

Metaxas' policies such as the censorship of the media, the banning of political parties and prohibition of strikes copied contemporary European authoritarian regimes. As its far-right contemporaries Italy and Germany, the Greek State also had its political police force, the Asfaleia, based upon the Gestapo (its chief Maniadakis maintained a close relationship with Himmler on methods and techniques). The objective of Asfaleia was to secure public order.

The regime also repressed the rebetiko music due to the uncompromising lyrics and favoured the traditional Greek folk music. Hashish dens, baglamas and bouzouki were banned, or at least playing in the eastern-style manner and scales. Probably inspired by the Völkisch movement, a massive promotion of the Greek folk music took place, though the radio and public festivals, mainly because of the animosity of the state towards the bouzoukis and the rebetiko music. On this point the Greek communist left agreed, considering the rebetiko as "reactionary".

Soon after its inception the regime severely repressed the communists and leftists. About 15,000 people were arrested and jailed, or exiled for political reasons; some were subjected to torture. Metaxas' regime forced the Communist party underground, and also attempted to dismantle the old system of loyalties of the Royalist and Venizelist parties. Those major forces however remained, as they had for the preceding decades, and re-emerged immediately after the four-year Metaxas regime.

While Metaxas' regime did play up a supposed communist threat in order to justify its repression, the regime is not known to have committed political murders and did not instate the death penalty. Dissidents were, rather, usually banished to tiny islands in the Aegean sea. For example, the liberal leader George Papandreou was exiled to Andros. The Greek Communist Party (KKE), meanwhile, which had already been outlawed, remained intact. Legal restrictions against it finally were ended in 1974 during metapolitefsi.

Arts and Culture

Metaxas, educated in the German Empire and admirer of the German culture, gave emphasis to the Art production (theatrical, literary, musical, visual arts etc.). He collaborated with significant intellectual figures of the era, like Stratis Myrivilis, Nikos Kazantzakis, Angelos Sikelianos, Manolis Kalomoiris, Angelos Terzakis, Nelly's and others, to promote the ideas of the regime, especially to the youth.

Another notable policy was the use and promotion of the Demotic Greek (Demotiki) in the educational system -but in a conservative form-, instead of the Katharevousa. Manolis Triantafyllidis was appointed for the creation of the grammar.

The role of the youth

EON on parade
EON on parade (from its official magazine I Neolaia). The double axe, emblem of the organisation, is visible on the standard.
Ethniki Organosis Neoleas emblem
The emblem of EON.
Flag of EON
The flag which was used by EON during the Fourth of August regime.

In order to keep and maintain the values of the regime in future years, Metaxas gave birth to the Ethniki Organosi Neolaias (Εθνική Οργάνωση Νεολαίας, National Organisation of Youth, EON).

The EON brought together youths of all economic and social strata into one single body. Boys’ education emphasized discipline and physical training, while girls were taught to become supportive wives and caring mothers to breed a stronger, healthier new generation. The EON published a fortnightly magazine called Neolaia (Νεολαία, Greek for "Youth"), which had much influence both in schools and in higher education.

Metaxas' vision was to create, through the youth, the "Third Hellenic Civilization", a continuity of the ancient Greek and Byzantine civilization.

The EON was disbanded by the German-Italian occupying authority in Greece following its vigorous resistance of the invasion.


As in most other totalitarian regimes, the 4th of August regime adopted a strong nationalistic program: although Metaxas was opposed to the invasion of Asia Minor as part of the Megali Idea, he used strong nationalist language concerning Greek minorities in neighbouring countries and in answering threats from Greece's neighbours in the still volatile southeast Europe. As with many nation states at the time, he used language exalting his people's "race".

Ethnic (mainly Slavic speakers) and religious minorities were persecuted under Metaxas' rule.[6] The regime, however, was relatively tolerant to the Greek Jews, repealing the anti-Semitic laws of previous regimes. A large community of Sephardic Jews was present in the region of Thessaloniki which was annexed by Greece in 1913, and Jews were largely in opposition to Venizelism. Metaxas was firmly opposed to the irredentist factions of the Slavophones of northern Greece (consisting of Macedonians and Bulgarians mainly in Aegean Macedonia and Thrace), some of whom underwent political persecution due to advocacy of irredentism with regard to neighbouring countries.[6]

Metaxas' regime continued repression of the use of Slavic languages both in public and in private and of expressions of Slavic cultural distinctiveness. Despite their supposed disloyalty, however, Slavophone Greeks identified with the Greek state and fought ferociously for Greece on the Italo-Albanian front. Again in contrast to some totalitarian regimes, no mass killings were ever instituted and there is no evidence that any were planned.[6]

Economic policy

One of the 4th of August government's main objectives was the repudiation of the old capitalist system and its replacement with a corporatist economic system in order to promote national and social solidarity. This idea "harmonized perfectly with Metaxas' convictions on social and national solidarity as well as his rejection of individualism and class struggle". The plan for the creation of a corporatist state was manifest in the early days of the regime by public declarations by Metaxas and by government ministers.[7]

To this end, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Konstantinos Zavitsianos "published details about a horizontal (according to branches of production), not vertical (according to social class), syndicalist organization" of the state. However, due to the external crisis with Italy, the plan had to be temporarily postponed with the result that it never fully materialized.[7]

Metaxas' government, initially unpopular, also gained popularity through an elaborate program to socialize the Greek economy, including:

  • unemployment insurance
  • maternity leave.
  • a five-day, 40-hour workweek.
  • guaranteed two-week vacations with pay (or two weeks' double pay in place of the vacation).
  • stricter work safety standards.

Many elements of this program persist in Greek economic policy. Metaxas' regime founded the Workers' Center (Εργατικό Κέντρο), which was established to look after workers' housing and recreation, among other things.

The 4th of August regime initially stabilized the drachma, which had been suffering from high inflation. Exploiting the newfound solidity of the currency, Metaxas' government embarked on large public works programs (such as the Ellinikon International Airport), including land drainage, construction of railways, road improvements, and modernization of the telecommunications infrastructure.

Metaxas' economic program met with initial success, with a marked rise in per capita income and temporary decline in unemployment in Greece between 1936 and 1938 (unemployment skyrocketed after 1938). Capitalizing on this success, the government instituted debt relief for farmers and instituted price floors on some agricultural goods to redistribute wealth to the countryside.

Also, on the legislation sector the Greek civil code, was finally completed by a jurist commission; a plan pending since the years of Otto of Greece.


Another organization established by the regime was for the first time a state radio station; the YRE (today ERT), suitable also for the propaganda of the regime.

Also, during the years of the regime, the first law was made to establish the National parks of Greece, as an example of the physiolatry, promoted by the regime. However, during these years, Ilissos river was covered in Athens.

Differences from other fascist regimes

There is some debate over how the regime relates to other fascist regimes of the 1930s, especially Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. [8] Some of the main and important differences of Metaxas' regime as compared to other fascist governments include:

  • The anti-imperialist speech of the regime.
  • The pro-Jewish stance of Metaxas and tolerance to religious minorities.
  • Absence of a mass political base for the regime, in the form of a political party or movement.
  • No representative architecture or monuments.

The end of the 4th of August regime

Ioannis Metaxas with King George II and Alexandros Papagos during a meeting of the Anglo-Greek War Council.

Foreign policy was one of the main concerns of the 4th of August regime. Metaxas, who had studied in Germany as a youth, was pro-German, while the King was pro-British. This caused heated discussions between the two, but the reality of 1930s Europe was that Greece's security depended less on Germany than on her traditional protector, the United Kingdom, which was the Great Power dominating the Eastern Mediterranean Sea with her fleet. In addition, Italian leader Benito Mussolini's grandiose schemes to build a new Roman Empire in the Mediterranean directly clashed with Greek pretensions to control the Aegean Sea and the Dodecanese islands (by then under Italian control) and to exert stronger influence in Albania.

As tensions and threat of war increased in Europe just before World War II, the situation was almost exactly the same as the position before World War I, when Greece had strong pro-German affinities in government, but it depended on Britain for its security. Most observers were anticipating Greece would attempt to remain neutral. Metaxas indeed attempted to maintain strict neutrality, but Italian expansionism eventually led to an Italian ultimatum and to the Greco-Italian War. However, Greek forces repelled the Italian invasion completely and brought the Italian soldiers back into Albania, where the invasion had been launched. In fact, some territories in Albania where a Greek minority lives were claimed to be 'alliberated' and Metaxas' plans were to unite them with the rest of Greece.

Metaxas died suddenly in January 1941 among dark circumstances. His death raised hopes of a liberalization of his regime and the restoration of parliamentary rule, but King George quashed these hopes when he retained the regime's machinery in place. In the meantime, Adolf Hitler was reluctantly forced to divert German troops to rescue Mussolini from defeat, and began Battle of Greece through Yugoslavia and Bulgaria on 6 April 1941.

Despite British assistance, by the end of May, the Germans had overrun most of the country. The King and the government escaped to Crete, where they stayed until the end of the Battle of Crete. They then transferred to Egypt, where a Greek government in exile was established. Meanwhile, in Greece a fascist puppet government was placed into power by the Axis.


As the Axis occupation ended, Greece descended into civil war between the communist-dominated forces of the left, operating in Greece and from bases in the south of Yugoslavia, and the U.S.- and UK-aligned forces of the political right. This was the first major protracted combat of the Cold War, one of the first exercises in U.S. policy of Containment, and a subject of the Truman Doctrine of U.S. President Harry Truman. The alignments were quite different from the Venizelist-Monarchist National Schism, as most Venizelists supported the right-wing alliance during the civil war.

See also


  1. ^ Metaxas Jugend - A picture album of the Greek Fascist Youth EON (2009), p.11
  2. ^ Clogg (1992)
  3. ^ Hamilakis, Y. (2007) The nation and its ruins: antiquity, archaeology, and national imagination in Greece, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-923038-2, p. 177
  4. ^ Hamilakis (2007), pp. 177-178
  5. ^ Metaxas' diary p.553
  6. ^ a b c Kallis
  7. ^ a b Constantine Sarandis, "The Ideology and Character of the Metaxas Regime", The Metaxas Dictatorship: Aspects of Greece, 1936-1940, pages 156-157.
  8. ^ Clogg (1987), p. 182


  • Clogg, Richard. A Concise History of Greece; 1992
  • Clogg, Richard. Parties and Elections in Greece: the Search for Legitimacy; 1987
  • Hondros, John L. Occupation and Resistance; 1983
  • Aristotle A. Kallis, "Fascism and Religion: The Metaxas Regime in Greece and the 'Third Hellenic Civilisation': Some Theoretical Observations on 'Fascism', 'Political Religion' and 'Clerical Fascism'," Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 8,2 (2007), pp 229–246.
  • McNeill, William. The Metamorphosis of Greece Since World War Two
  • Woodhouse, C M. Modern Greece: A Short History; 1992

Further reading

  • Robin Higham and Thanos Veremis (eds), The Metaxas Dictatorship. Aspects of Greece 1936-1940 (Athens, Eliamep-Vryonis Center, 1993).
  • Pelt, Mogens (Winter 2001). "The Establishment and Development of the Metaxas Dictatorship in the Context of Fascism and Nazism, 1936-41". Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions. 2 (3): 143–172. doi:10.1080/714005461.
  • Vatikiotis, P.J. (1998). Popular Autocracy in Greece, 1936-41: A Political Biography of General Ioannis Metaxas. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-4869-9.
  • Papacosma, S. Victor, "Ioannis Metaxas and the "Fourth of August" Dictatorship in Greece," in Bernd J. Fischer (ed), Balkan Strongmen: Dictators and Authoritarian Rulers of Southeastern Europe (West Lafayette, IN, 2007) (Central European Studies), 165-198.

External links

1938 Greek coup d'état attempt

The Coup d'état attempt of 1938 or coup d'état of Chania was a short-lived coup attempt in Chania, Greece, aimed at overthrowing the dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas in 1938. Due to poor organization, the coup collapsed within a few hours and never seriously threatened the dictatorial regime.

4th of August Party

The 4th of August Party (K4A; Greek: Κόμμα 4ης Αυγούστου, Komma 4is Avgoustou (Κ4Α)) was a radical Greek Metaxist political party, founded in July 1965 by a group of young nationalists and led by Konstantinos Plevris, a self-confessed fascist. It was named after and inspired by the 4th of August Regime of Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas.

Alexandros Papagos

Alexandros Papagos (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Παπάγος; 9 December 1883 – 4 October 1955) was a Greek Army officer who led the Hellenic Army in World War II and the later stages of the Greek Civil War. The only Greek career officer to be raised to the rank of Field Marshal, he became the first Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff from 1950 until his resignation in 1951. He then entered politics, founding the Greek Rally party and becoming the country's Prime Minister after his victory in the 1952 elections. His premiership was defined by several events. The Cold War, and the aftermath of the Greek Civil War; Greece becoming a member of NATO; American military bases were allowed on Greek territory; a powerful and vehemently anti-communist security apparatus was created; and the communist leader Nikos Ploumpidis was executed by firing squad. His tenure also saw the start of the Greek economic miracle, and rising tensions with Britain and Turkey over the Cyprus issue.

Days of '36

Days of '36 (Greek: Μέρες του '36, romanized: Méres tou '36) is a 1972 Greek dramatic independent underground art film directed by Theo Angelopoulos. Its title is a tribute to Constantine P. Cavafy.

Filmed during the Regime of the Colonels, the film draws parallels between the regime and the dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas, but it does so implicitly, in order to escape censorship. Angelopoulos elsewhere speaks of an "aesthetic of the unspoken." He points out that the most important things always happen out of the field of view, behind closed doors or on the phone. When something is said, it is only whispered.

Freethinkers' Party

The Freethinkers' Party (Greek: Κόμμα των Ελευθεροφρόνων) was a Greek nationalist and monarchist party founded and led by Ioannis Metaxas who was the Prime Minister and dictator of Greece from 1936 to 1941. It was formally founded in November 1922 after the adoption of the party's manifesto that was unveiled on 13 October 1922. Metaxas had the party and all other parties dissolved following the establishment of the 4th of August Regime, in which he ruled as an official independent.The first programmatic declaration of the party was published in the daily Nea Imera on 13 October 1922.

George II of Greece

George II (Greek: Γεώργιος Βʹ, Geórgios II; 19 July 1890 (NS) – 1 April 1947) reigned as King of Greece from 1922 to 1924 and from 1935 to 1947. He was paternal first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Georgios Siantos

Georgios Siantos (nicknames: Geros "Old man", Theios "Uncle"; Greek: Γεώργιος "Γιώργης" Σιάντος; 1890 – May 20, 1947) was a prominent figure of the Communist Party of Greece (Greek: Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Kommunistiko Komma Elladas, KKE) who served as acting general secretary of the party and as a leader of the National Liberation Front (EAM)/Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) Resistance movement during the German occupation of Greece in World War II.

Greek government-in-exile

The Greek government-in-exile was the government in exile of Greece formed in the aftermath of the Battle of Greece, and the subsequent occupation of Greece by Nazi Germany and the Fascist Italy, also by the Kingdom of Bulgaria. The government-in-exile was based in Cairo, Egypt. Hence it is also commonly referred to as the "Cairo Government" (Greek: Κυβέρνηση του Καΐρου). It was the internationally recognised Greek government, during the years of the Axis occupation of Greece.

It was headed by King George II, which evacuated from Athens in April 1941, after the German invasion of the country, first to the island of Crete and then to Cairo in Egypt. He remained there until the German occupying forces withdrew from the country on 17 October 1944.

The exiled Greek government was closely controlled by the British. Until 1944 it was also recognized as the legal Greek government by all Greek Resistance forces. In the occupied Greece, alongside the Axis-controlled collaborationist governments, a vigorous Resistance movement developed. Its major force was the communist-controlled EAM/ELAS. During 1944, EAM/ELAS established a de facto separate administration, formalised in March 1944 after elections in both occupied and liberated territories, as the Political Committee of National Liberation (PEEA).

Greek nationalism

Greek nationalism (or Hellenic nationalism) refers to the nationalism of Greeks and Greek culture. As an ideology, Greek nationalism originated and evolved in pre-modern times. It became a major political movement beginning in the 18th century, which culminated in the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829) against the Ottoman Empire. It became a potent movement in Greece shortly prior to, and during World War I under the leadership of nationalist figure Eleftherios Venizelos who pursued the Megali Idea and managed to liberate Greece in the Balkan Wars and after World War I, briefly annexed the region of İzmir before it was retaken by Turkey. Today Greek nationalism remains important in the Greco-Turkish dispute over Cyprus.

Ioannis Metaxas

Ioannis Metaxas (; Greek: Ιωάννης Μεταξάς; 12 April 1871 – 29 January 1941) was a Greek military officer and politician, serving as Prime Minister of Greece from 1936 until his death in 1941. He governed constitutionally for the first four months of his tenure, and thereafter as the strongman of the authoritarian 4th of August Regime. On 28 October 1940, he denied an ultimatum imposed by the Italians to surrender Greece to the Axis powers, thus bringing Greece into World War II.

Konstantinos Kotzias

Konstantinos "Kostas" Kotzias (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος (Κώστας) Κοτζιάς; 17 May 1892 – 8 December 1951) was a Greek fencer. He competed at the 1912 and 1924 Summer Olympics.In 1934 he was elected Mayor of Athens. In the dictatorial Metaxas Regime, he served as Minister for the Capital District. Following the death of dictator Ioannis Metaxas in January 1941, he was sounded out by King George II of Greece to head a new cabinet, but refused. During the Axis Occupation of Greece, he lived in the United States. He was elected an MP for Athens in 1950 and was re-elected as the city's mayor in 1951, shortly before his death. Kotzia Square in Athens is named after him.

One of his sons was George Cotzias, a well known physician that pioneered the L-dopa treatment for Parkinson's disease.

Konstantinos Maniadakis

Konstantinos Maniadakis (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Μανιαδάκης; July 25, 1893 in Sofiko, Corinthia – February 28, 1972 in Athens) was a Greek Army officer and politician who became notorious as head of the internal security services of the dictatorial 4th of August Regime (1936–1941). A career engineers officer, Maniadakis resigned from the army in 1929. In 1936, dictator Ioannis Metaxas appointed him to head the Under-Ministry of Public Security. During his tenure, he managed to almost completely suppress and disorganize the Communist Party of Greece, imprisoning hundreds of its members and even publishing a government-controlled rival version of the party's newspaper, Rizospastis. Maniadakis as a Security Minister was regarded to be highly efficient against Communist policies in Greece. Following the German invasion of Greece, he continued in office in the early months of the Greek government in exile as Interior Minister, but was soon forced to resign. After World War II, he was elected several times to the Hellenic Parliament.


Labrys (Greek: λάβρυς, lábrus) is, according to Plutarch (Quaestiones Graecae 2.302a), the Lydian word for the double-bitted axe called in Greek a πέλεκυς (pélekus). The relation with the labyrinth is uncertain.

List of years in Greece

This is a list of years in Greece.

Metaxas Line

The Metaxas Line (Greek: Γραμμή Μεταξά, Grammi Metaxa) was a chain of fortifications constructed along the line of the Greco-Bulgarian border, designed to protect Greece in case of a Bulgarian invasion after the rearmament of Bulgaria. It was named after Ioannis Metaxas, then Prime Minister of Greece, and chiefly consists of tunnels that led to observatories, emplacements and machine-gun nests. The constructions are so sturdy that they survive to this day, some of which are still in active service. Some of them are open to the public.

The Metaxas Line consists of 21 independent fortification complexes, the largest of which is Fort Roupel as it covers 6.1 out of the 155 km of the full line and had been constructed at a height of 322 m. Illumination was initially mostly provided by oil-lamps, although generators were also installed. Currently, the fortifications are supplied with public electricity, but they are also equipped with generators. Ventilation was achieved both naturally and artificially. Water was supplied via water-mains. The fortification works lasted four years and their cost at the time reached 100,400,000 drachmas.


Metaxism (Greek: Μεταξισμός) is a totalitarian nationalist ideology associated with Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas. It called for the regeneration of the Greek nation and the establishment of a modern, culturally homogenous Greece. Metaxism disparaged liberalism, and held individual interests to be subordinate to those of the nation, seeking to mobilize the Greek people as a disciplined mass in service to the creation of a "new Greece."Metaxas declared that his 4th of August Regime (1936–1941) represented a "Third Greek Civilization" which was committed to the creation of a culturally purified Greek nation based upon the militarist societies of ancient Macedonia and Sparta, which he held to constitute the "First Greek Civilization"; and the Orthodox Christian ethic of the Byzantine Empire, which he considered to represent the "Second Greek Civilization." The Metaxas regime asserted that true Greeks were ethnically Greek and Orthodox Christian, intending to deliberately exclude Albanians, Slavs, and Turks residing in Greece from Greek citizenship.Although the Metaxas government and its official doctrines are often described as Fascist, academically it is considered to have been a conventional totalitarian-conservative dictatorship akin to Francisco Franco's Spain or António de Oliveira Salazar's Portugal. The Metaxist government derived its authority from the conservative establishment and its doctrines strongly supported traditional institutions such as the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek Monarchy; essentially reactionary, it lacked the radical theoretical dimensions of ideologies such as Italian Fascism and German Nazism.The ideology of Metaxism was associated with Metaxas' political party, the Freethinkers' Party and the 4th of August Regime. In the post-war period it has been advocated by the 4th of August Party, the Golden Dawn party and the ELAM party.

National Youth Organisation (Greece)

The National Youth Organisation (Greek: Εθνική Οργάνωσις Νεολαίας, Ethnikí Orgánosis Neoléas, EON) was a youth organization in Greece during the years of the Metaxas Regime (1936–1941), established by the regime with the stated goals of helping the youth in the productive spending of their free time and cultivating their national values and cooperative spirit.

Membership was not mandatory, and—unlike most contemporary political youth organizations in Europe—EON was not affiliated with a political party, but there was widespread successful campaigning by the regime to include the largest part of the youth to EON, and later took over the scouts and other such organizations, although typically membership still remained strictly voluntary. However, only Christians could enroll and Muslims and Jews could not become EON members. There were some exceptions on Jews though.Some of the activities that EON members were involved in included athletics events, parades and marches, military training, reforestations, recycling.

The official -monthly- magazine of EON was The Youth (Greek: Η Νεολαία).

The emblem of EON was a labrys surrounded by laurel wreaths and topped with a royal crown, while the flag of EON was similar to the flag of Greece—featuring a white cross on a blue fiend—with the emblem of EON charged in the center in gold and the royal crown moved to the upper hoist side quadrant. The motto of EON was "One Nation, One King, One Leader, One Youth".The EON disbanded in late April 1941 with the start of the German occupation of Greece when some of its former members created the secret occupation resistance/liberation organizations "National Youth Commity" and—the strictly female—"SPITHA" under the leadership of Metaxas' daughter Loukia Metaxa.

Politically Independent Alignment

The Politically Independent Alignment, alternatively translated as Politically Independent Camp or Front (Greek: Πολιτική Ανεξάρτητη Παράταξη or Πολιτική Ανεξάρτητος Παράταξις, Politikí Anexártiti Parátaxi or Politikí Anexártitos Parátaxis, PAP) was a Greek electoral alliance that ran in the 1950 legislative election and represented loyalists of the former dicator Ioannis Metaxas.It was established in 1949 as an alliance of the Greek Renaissance Party of Konstantinos Maniadakis, former Minister of Public Order during the 4th of August Regime, and the Nationalist Party of Theodoros Tourkovasilis, a former Governor of the Bank of Greece.

In the Greek legislative election, 1950 the party gained 8,15% of the votes and 16 seats in the Hellenic Parliament.

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