Eleftherious Venizelos

Eleftherious Venizelos

Eleftherios Venizelos was born in Chania, Crete in 1864. After studying law in Athens Venizelos became leader of the Liberal Party in Crete. In 1896 he took a prominent role in the Cretan rising against Turkish rule. In 1905 Venizelos becoming the island's first independent prime minister.

In 1910 Venizelos became prime minister of Greece and supported the Balkan League against Turkey (1912) and Bulgaria (1913). As a result of these conflicts Greece gained territory from its defeated rivals.

On the outbreak of the First World War Venizelos favoured an alliance with Britain, France and Russia against the Central Powers. Venizelos wanted Greece to give military aid to the Allies during the Dardanelles campaign, and when King Constantine I refused to agree, he resigned from office.

When Venizelos was re-elected after a landslide victory in March 1915, he ordered mobilization of the Greek Army. When Venizelos invited the Allied forces to Salonika he was dismissed by the king. Venizelos returned to Crete where he formed a provisional revolutionary government.

With the support of Allied forces, Venizelos made plans to march on Athens. In June 1917 King Constantine I was deposed and Venizelos was able to regain power without resorting to force.

Venizelos led the Greek war effort until the Armistice in November 1918. At the Versailles Peace Conference, Venizelos won substantial territorial gains from Bulgaria and Turkey.

Despite his achievements Venizelos was defeated in the 1920 General Election. The new pro-royalist government invited King Constantine I back to power.

Venizelos was prime minister again in 1924, 1928-32 and 1933. In 1935 Venizelos came out of retirement to support another revolt in Crete. When this failed Eleftherios Venizelos was forced to flee to France where he died in 1936.

Eleuthérios Venizélos

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Eleuthérios Venizélos, in full Eleuthérios Kyriakos Venizélos, (born Aug. 23, 1864, Mourniés, Crete, Ottoman Empire [now in Greece]—died March 18, 1936, Paris, France), prime minister of Greece (1910–15, 1917–20, 1924, 1928–32, 1933), the most prominent Greek politician and statesman of the early 20th century. Under his leadership Greece doubled in area and population during the Balkan Wars (1912–13) and also gained territorially and diplomatically after World War I in negotiations with Italy, Bulgaria, and Turkey.

Eleftherios Venizelos

Eleftherios Venizelos was born in 1864 in the village of Mournies Crete and studied law at the University of Athens at a time when Crete was still under the Ottoman Empire. Venizelos was in favor of enosos, or Union with Greece and fought in the rebellion of 1897. When Crete was given its autonomy he helped draft the constitution and became a member of the government under Prince George, the high commissioner of the island. His belief that Crete should be a part of Greece caused friection between him and Prince George and Venizelos moved to Greece. He becomes President of the Assembly of Cretans and then becomes Prime Minister of the Cretan State. In August Venizelos is elected to Parliament for Attica-Boeotia and on the 6th of October he is sworn in as Prime Minister of Greece. and leader of the new "Liberal Party". His leadership leads to many reforms and alliances with Greece's northern neighbors and as a result of this the size of the country doubled after the Balkan Wars. In World War I his support of Britain, France and Russia created antagonism between Venizelos and King Constantine who wanted Greece to remain nuetral, and twice he resigned over disagreements in foreign policy. After his resignation Great Britain offers Cyprus to Greece in exchange for Greece entering the war on the side of the Allies. The Government rejects this proposal.

Finally in 1916 Venizelos established a rival provisional government in Thessaloniki. This was known as the National Schism and would influence politics in the country for decades. When Constantine was forced to leave Greece by Britain and France and is replaced by a new King Alexander who is more favorable to the allies cause. Venizelos becomes prime misnister and brings Greece into the war just in time to win a few battles and represent Greece at the Paris peace conference. Greece was rewarded for her contribution to the war by being given the High Commissionership of Smyrna .Greek troops were sent to Asia Minor to protect the Greek population. The Treaty of Sevres in August of 1920 gave Greece almost the whole coast of Asia Minor as the Ottoman Empire was broken up. This is known as to megalo idea or the great idea of a Greece of two continents. A return to the borders of the Byzantine empire, a new Hellas with its capital in Constantinople.

But Greece's fortunes change during this period. King Alexander is bitten by a pet monkey and dies. King Constantine returns to Greece and Venizelos loses the election. Shortly thereafter the Greek army loses the support of the allies and is routed in Turkey by the Nationalist led by Kemal Attaturk. This is known as the Asia Minor Catastrophe. The burning of Smyrna and exchange of population which follows is the end of Christianity in Turkey and an enormous refugee problem in Greece. Venizelos represented Greece at the Lausanne conference which ended the war and the megalo idea. He returned to power again in 1928 and during this period the Bank of Greece, the Agricultural Bank, the State Council and the National Theatre are founded, 3,000 schools are built and important works of infrastructure are carried out. Even so he loses the elections of 1933 due to the international economic crisis caused by the Great Depression in the USA. After several attempts on his life and involvement in an attempted coup in 1935 he had to leave the country for France. After he leaves trials and executions of prominent supporters of Venizelos are carried out along with the Abolition of "Kingless Democracy" and return of George II to the throne following a rigged referendum. Venizelos dies a year later, his body taken by the destroyer "Pavlos Kountoyriotis" to Chania, avoiding Athens so as not to cause unrest.

Venizelos was arguably the greatest leader in the history of the modern Greek state, perhaps one of the great leaders of the world. And yet in Greece as much as he was loved there were those who reviled him just as passionately. He was a realist and a visionary, intelligent, flexible and daring, possessing an impressive personal charm. Some say he was the most charismatic statesman in all of Europe. Had he not had so much opposition from his own countrymen it is possible that Greece would now include Cyprus and the coast of Asia Minor including Constantinople with an educational and social system that other countries would be envious of. It was the right time, the right place and the right leader but sometimes in Greece even that is not enough.

Eleftherios Venizelos

Eleftherios Venizelos from Chania, on Crete: Eleftherios Venizelos was one of the greatest statesmen of Greece. He was born in Chania in 1864 and he played a significant role in the creation of the Greek republic by way of taking part in the official talks with the Ottomans that finally culminated in Crete being granted independence in the year 1897 and thereafter its final amalgamation with Greece in the year 1913. There is a statue of the great man at Akrotiri upon a hill from where one can not only view the statue but also the breathtaking view of the city of Chania.

He studied law in Athens and later on became the chief of the Liberal Party in Crete. In the year 1896, he played a pivotal role in the Cretan revolution against the Turkish rule and in the year 1905 Venizelos became the island's first sovereign prime minister. In the year 1910 Venizelos was catapulted to the position of the Prime Minister of Greece with the support of the Balkan League. With his strong support base, he was able to defeat the Turks and the Bulgarians and even amassed territories from them.

During the First World War Venizelos made a strategic alliance with the British, French and Russians who sided with him in their fight against the Central Powers. From the outset Venizelos wanted Greece to offer military assistance to the Allies, but his request was nullified by King Constantine I, which resulted in Venizelos relinquishing his position of Prime minister. Venizelos was once again re-elected after a massive victory in March 1915 and thereafter took to the task of mobilizing the Greek Army.

When Venizelos requested the allied forces to come to Salonkia he was summarily sacked by the king. Finding no other way, Venizelos returned back to Chania, Crete where he formed an interim revolutionary government. He garnered the support of the Allied forces and chalked out a strategy to march to Athens. King Constantine, I was overthrown in June 1917 and Venizelos task of reclaiming power was possible without using force.

Regardless of his accomplishments, Venizelos was whitewashed in the 1920 General Election. The new government which had a distinct tilt towards royalty, in course of time invited King Constantine I to take over his reign.

Venizelos thus was elected as the Prime minister again in 1924, 1928-32 as well as 1933. However, in 1935 Venizelos once again played a pivotal role to propel another revolution in Crete. Somehow the revolution failed miserably and he took refuge in France, where he passed away in the year 1936. On a hill in Akrotiri overlooking Chania Town, there are the Tombs of Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sofoklis Venizelos.

The Greek 'Moustaki': A mustache with history!

Men can change their style just by shaving. They wake up in the morning and depending on their mood, they can have a beard (long or short), a three-day stubble, sideburns (although old-fashioned), or a mustache. But for now, let’s stick to the latter…….
The mustache is in a sense part of Greek history. It may sound excessive, but anyone who searches the internet will soon realize, that many famous Greeks had a mustache. Revolution heroes, major politicians, prominent literary personalities and renowned scientists amongst others.
Not to mention famous Greek idioms and phrases such as “his mustaches are laughing”: which is used for someone who is extremely happy, or “we are going to eat our mustaches,” meaning, we are going to argue.
See below some famous Greeks with a mustache:
Nikos Kazantzakis: He was one of the greatest internationally renowned contemporary Greek writers. Nikos Georgios Papanikolaou: He was a great scientist, doctor, biologist and researcher. Renowned for the Pap-test (Papanikolaou Test) which has saved the lives of many women suffering from cervical cancer and other cytologic diseases of the female reproductive system. Georgios Papanikolaou (May 13, 1883 – February 19, 1962) was honored with many awards. Among them included the “Medal of Honor” by the American Cancer Society in 1952. He was also depicted on a Greek drachma banknote. His mustache was a small, classic one.

Vasilis Tsitsanis: The mustache was a typical symbol for many Greek Rebetes (musicians of the Greek musical genre Rebetiko). Tsitsanis (Trikala, Greece, January 18, 1915 – London, UK, January 18, 1984) was one of the greatest Greek composers, lyricists and singers of the 20th century.
Eleftherios Venizelos: He also had a beard, but his mustache was particularly special as it was illustrating his strong and dynamic personality. Eleftherios Venizelos (Mournies, Chania, Greece, August 23, 1864 – Paris, France, March 18, 1936) was a Greek politician who served as Prime Minister of the Cretan State and seven times as Prime Minister of Greece. He was renowned for his reforms in almost all sectors of the Greek state and responsible for organizing the country according to urban standards. As a politician, he played an important role in the “Cretan Question” and Greece’s politics from 1910 until his death.
Theodoros Kolokotronis: Theodoros

The history of the Revolution 1905

The function of a state of law by creating strong modern institutions was one of the fundamental values in which Eleftherios Venizelos believed. He had the talent of imposing his views by the power of his arguments within institutional limits. However, he did not hesitate, to resort to dynamic actions or revolutionary confrontation against the state when he felt that the national interests were at stake, whether in Crete or in Greece.

His first actual participation in revolutionary armed confrontation took place during the Cretan Revolution in 1897, which was when his diplomatic virtues became apparent and he gradually emerged as its leader.

In 1898 Crete was liberated from the Turks and the Great Powers decided to grant autonomy to the island, which was under their protection and under the Sultans’ rule. Autonomy was concerned only with the exercise of internal policy and not with foreign affairs decisions.

Thus begins the period of the Autonomous Cretan State. Prince George (son of King George I of Greece) was appointed as The High Commissioner of Crete. The Prince was received with great enthusiasm upon his arrival at the port of Souda on December 9, 1898. Eleftherios Venizelos was a member of the Committee for the first Constitution of the State and in 1899, in the government of the prince, he was appointed as a minister of justice.

Initially the two men cooperated smoothly. Soon, however, Venizelos and the Prince had a major disagreement over the handling of the Cretan Question and the authoritarian way of governing by the prince, which was in opposition to Venizelos’ liberal beliefs. For this reason, Venizelos had resigned twice, but his resignations were not accepted. In 1901 the prince ousted Venizelos from the government.

The definitive rupture in their relations led Venizelos to organize an armed movement in Therisso in March 1905, along with his close associates Constantine Foumis and Constantine Manos. They immediately proclaimed Crete’s union with Greece, without being crushed by the Prince’s threatening actions and the wave of terrorism he launched against them.
In Therisso they printed the Official Newspaper of the Revolutionary Assembly, stamps and the newspaper Therisso. Meanwhile, the Great Powers disagreed over whether or not to suppress the revolution, which gradually spread throughout the island. The bloodiest clashes between Russians and the revolutionaries took place in Atsipopoulo and Georgioupoli.

Throughout the revolution, Venizelos was engaged in an intense diplomatic activity and held tough negotiations with the representatives of the Great Powers. Eight months after it started, due to the lack of financial resources for its maintenance and the danger that the Powers would intervene militarily, the revolution ended with a fair compromise. Venizelos himself in Mournies announced its end to the consuls of the Great Powers.

The revolution had positive results, because although the Union was not achieved, Prince George was forced to resign and leave Crete. In 1906 a new High Commissioner was appointed, the liberal politician Alexander Zaimis, and the Cretan Parliament drafted a new, democratic constitution that guaranteed civil and political rights.

Thus, after the revolution of Therisso, a new liberal period began for the island, which essentially paved the way for its subsequent union with Greece. For Eleftherios Venizelos the revolution justified his choices and made him an important political figure with pan-Hellenic and international recognition.

The myth

Eleftherios Venizelos has been identified with both the peak of the Great Idea for the Treaty of Sèrves of 1920 and with its final liquidation at the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. Besides, the dramatic consequences of his decisions, mainly in matters of foreign policy, affected the entire Greek world. Thus, he became the object of quasi-religious worship and of fanatical hatred. Some saw him as the heroic figure that achieved the unachievable vision of the Great Idea and the reconstruction of the State. Others saw him as the principal cause of the discord and the division of the country, whose consequences were felt long after his withdrawal from the public life and his death. But even within the liberal party, which was his own creation, his authority was questioned even by former close associates of his, particularly after 1920. To one such acute confrontation in parliament with his one-time close associate Alexander Papanastasiou Venizelos reacted on the spot by composing his own epigram that would later be carved on his grave at Akrotiri, Hania. It was the obituary Papanastasiou himself would, purportedly, be compelled to deliver at Venizelos’ funeral:

“My dear friends, the dead man lying before us was a real man with great courage and self-assurance for both himself and for the people he had been called on to govern. He may have made many mistakes, but he never lacked courage he had never been a fatalist because he never depended on his fate to see his country move forward, but he put all the fire he had within him and every mental or physical strength, at its service”.
At a time when reliable news was difficult to obtain and the power of oral speech, as opposed to written speech – and far more in contrast wit live picture- was superior, he is the only one among politicians of modern Greece who has given rise to the creation of legends about his birth and origin: a flash in the sky, the prayer of both a priest and hodja on his birth indicate the belief that Venizelos was sent by God.
His admirers praised him beyond any limit of exaggeration. “His life was an epic one, because his merits too were those of a legendary hero, attracting international admiration”, is a phase written one day after his death.
His opponents saw in his person the enemy of the fatherland, in his decisions, they saw treason and in his boldness, unscrupulous ambition. Nevertheless, even the most spiteful among his enemies acknowledged the magnitude of his personality:
“He was a man who, as of the very first day he came into being until the day he passed away, created History by himself, a history that we, the other Greeks, were invited to live through either as opponents or as comrades” (George A. Vlachos).

Two works identifying Venizelos with the vision of the Great Idea in terms of its expectation and its fulfillment are characteristic samples of the creation of the legend surrounding Venizelos during his life-time: a picture dating from 1916, depicting as a young with the Acropolis of Athens and Santa Sophia of Constantinople in the background, that was a homage of the Society “Ai Mousai” (The Muses) of Kalymnos and a gold wreath he was offered as a gift after the Treaty of Sèrves had been signed in 1920.
Besides, collective memory recorded its admiration for the person of Venizelos in works of art, whether noble or folk art, ranging from paintings and statues to cheap objects of daily use and from popular verses to poetry of high aesthetic value, like the following poem written by Kostis Palamas:

Gone is the Great man. Light up a monument as great he was
That’ll be a star, Athens his light and Crete his way.
His voice deserves be Homer’s verse mourning is not enough.
His pace is fiery, like a climb to Psiloritis.
His fate was destined to liven and raise
Sacred times’, both ancient and modern, brightness:
Angers ran wild, passions became storms, hatred rose like dark nights
You’re flickering, oh, evening star, you shive, oh, Greece.

The building of the legend surrounding Venizelos originated and thrived particularly in Crete, the island where he was born, but also among solid groups of people throughout the rest of the country, for instance, among refugees from Asia Minor. It is a phenomenon that reflects the acute confrontation originating, on the one hand, in his enchanting personality and, on the other hand, in the fury with which his opponents fought against him. At any rate, history has evaluated Eleftherios Venizelos as the most important modern Greek politician, above all for his contribution to the fulfillment of the territorial aspirations and to the modernization of Greece.

Eleftherious Venizelos - History

The Mid-War Period
The last Eleftherios Venizelos government

Eleftherios Venizelos returned to the political scene, after a five-year absence, and triumphantly carried the day in the election of 19 August 1928. The next four years are a singularity in the continuous fluidity of governmental groupings of the inter-war period, as the political balance is preserved until the resignation of the old statesman in May 1932.

Despite the impressive moves of Venizelos in the field of foreign policy (Friendship Agreement with Turkey), his governing in the interior of the country did not have the expected appeal. At the beginning of 1930 ideological gaps that had divided the two blocs in earlier times, have been bridged to a certain extent. What remained alive though in the conscience of the electoral body was the memory of the Schism.

By this term, the process of division of the Greek people, already from the mid 1910s, into two conflicting blocs (Venizelists and Royalists), concerning the crucial issue of the participation of the country in the First World War is described. This conflict revived in the inter-war period, on new terms. Most important among these was accumulated emotional charge, being the result of multiple contentions and mutual distrust.

Undoubtedly, this last government by Venizelos had significant achievements to demonstrate in the field of domestic economic reconstruction. However the world economic debacle of 1929 and the depression it had brought about, had a lasting and cumulative impact. The economic policy adopted by the government, under the weight of the consequences of international depression, caused strong reaction that led to an internal political polarization. Especially the charges addressed against the government by the opposition, mainly by the People's Party, for embezzlement and squandering of public money contributed to this climate.

Eleftherious Venizelos - History

Eleftherios K. Venizelos

Elefthérios Venizélos (GR: Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος) was probably the most significant politician of modern Greece. Born in Mournies, a village near Chania, he studied law in Athens and he became the leader of the Liberal Party in Crete. He became famous in the 1889 and 1896 uprisings for the freedom of Crete from the Ottoman Empire. Venizelos became the island's first independent prime minister in 1905 and the prime minister of Greece in 1910.
The most prominent Greek statesman was a realist and a visionary, intelligent, flexible and daring, possessing an impressive personal charm.

He was born in Ottoman ruled Crete in 1864. During his childhood years his family fled to Greece in consequence of his father's involvement in the Cretan insurrection of 1886. Following his graduation from the Law Faculty of Athens University he worked as a lawyer in Chania but soon he entered politics as a member of the liberal party of the island.

His political and leadership qualities were revealed during the revolution of 1897. During the period of Cretan State (1898-1912) Venizelos was actively involved in the drafting of the Cretan Constitution. He quarelled with the High Commissioner Prince George on account of his liberal principles, he resorted to an armed rising at Therisso (1905) and secured the replacement of Prince George by the Greek politician Alexandros Zaimis. During his subsequent efforts for the unification of Crete with Greece Venizelos kept a skillful balance between daring and moderation.

In 1910 he put an end to his role as a politician in Crete and moved to mainland Greece, where he became Prime Minister and founded the "Liberal Party". He was the moving spirit in the political and economic progress of Greece and in the victorious outcome of the Balkan Wars (1912-13). During World War I he clashed with the Crown and, at the expense of the National Schism (1915-1917) he imposed his pro-Entente policy. Greece was rewarded for her contribution to the war by being given the High Commissionership of Smyrna (1919). In the vital elections of November 1920 Venizelos was defeated and he withdrew from politics to return after the Asia Minor disaster of 1922. With two of his radical initiatives (1923) - the mandatory exchange of Greek and Turkish populations and the Treaty of Lausanne which defined the boundaries between Greece and Turkey - he changed the orientation of Greek policy and laid the foundations for peaceful development.

His last term of office as Prime Minister (1928-1932) was a period of stability and creativity. His major achievement was the signature of the pact of friendship between Greek and Turkey (1930). The end of his career was marked by the attempt against his life (June 1933) and the failed venizelist coup of March 1935. He went into self-exile in Paris where he died on the 18th March 1936.

Athens Airport (ATH)

Athens Airport, it’s the most busiest airport in Greece with nearly 25 million passengers.

To get to Athens via taxi , from Athens Airport it takes about 30 min without traffic and will cost about 38 euro.

ATH Airport Information

IATA: Airport code: ATH
ICAO: Airport code: LGAV
Operator: Athens International Airport S.A. or AIA
Serves: Athens, Greece
Location: Spata
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ATH Airport Terminals

Athens international Airport has two terminals..

Banks & ATM

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Airport Statistics

Opening hours: 24 hours a day
Check-in desks: 144
Ranking: 27th busiest airport in Europe.
Terminals: 2
New connections: Palma Airport

Food & Drink

ATH airport has dozens of dining options within the main terminal. There are restaurants such as sit-downs, local chains, and fast food. Regardless of what eactly you are looking for, there should be plenty of options for you at the Athens International airport as they do make it a mission to be able to serve all of their customers effectively and make sure that there are a variety of options for you to choose from.

Guest Services

At various places throughout the Athens International Airport, you will find guest services and other accommodations that will certainly make your life easier and give you some comforts that you would have at home. The main concentration area of these services you can find on the 2nd floor of the main terminal. If you are looking to get any shopping, food, or other administrative work, then the 2nd floor of the terminal is going to be your best shot.


When it comes to family areas, there are several options available for you. There is a children’s play area located in the center of the action on the 2nd floor of the main terminal. There are also baby rooms, pharmacies, and other areas that you might need to frequent if you have children.

ATH Airport Transportation

Athens International Airport is accessible from a variety of methods. It is possible to find a railway station right next to the airport terminal as well.

Taxi: If you want to get into a taxi after coming out from the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos, you will have to get out from the Exit 3 at arrivals area. It is also possible to request for a limousine service..

Railway: Railway station is located adjacent to the airport terminal. It is possible to access the railway station through an elevated walkway. From this railway station, you will be able to access the Proastiakos Suburban Railway service and Athens Metro Line 3..

Metro: The other option that you have for trains is the Metro line 3 that is run by the Athens city government. This runs to and from the station into Athens and some surrounding cities as well. It’s one of the easier and cheaper ways to get around when you are in Athens..

Bus: You can access Athens Airport Eleftherios Venizelos via four different bus lines. They include X93, X95, X96 and X97. All these buses can help passengers to get connected with the Athens greater area. There is an intercity bus service as well..


At the Athens airport, you can find both short term parking as well as long term parking. You will be able to go for the right parking facilities based on your needs. Short term parking is offered to you at the parking lots P1 and P2..


There are dozens of shopping options within the airport that you can use to buy souvenirs, art, practical items, and just do general shopping. If you find yourself in need of something that you were unable to bring, the terminal has plenty of options for you to get those items right as you get off your plane.

Wi-Fi facilities

All the travelers who come to the Athens airport will be provided with free Wi-Fi facilities. However, a Wi-Fi session would be limited maximum to a duration of 45 minutes. However, unlimited browsing facilities are offered to you and you don’t need to worry about being capped. Along with that, you are also provided with the opportunity to connect up to any number of devices according to your preferences as well.

Airport Hotels

There are few decent hotels located in close proximity to the Athens airport. Any person who is looking forward to access the airport and have a comfortable time in there can think about reserving one of these hotels..


Phone: (+30) 210 35 30 000
Address: Attiki Odos, Spata Artemida 190 04 Athens Greece

Watch the video: Greek history - Last Eleftherios Venizelos government. Restoration of the Monarchy 1928-1935