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Alexandros Papanastasiou (8 July 1876, Tripolimarker, Arcadiamarker 17 November, 1936) was a Greek politician, sociologist and Prime Minister.

Early years

Papanastasiou was the son of Member of Parliament Panagiotis Papanastasiou. He spent part of his childhood in Kalamatamarker (1876-1883) and Piraeusmarker (1883-1889). He studied law in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens(1895-1898),earning his doctorate in 1899 and a licence in 1901. From 1901-1905 he studied social science, law and philosophy in the Humboldt University of Berlinmarker (at that time "Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität") and the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelbergmarker. In 1905 he goes to London, later on to Paris, continuing with his studies until 1907, when he decides to return to Greece.

Political career

In 1910, Papanastasiou was elected for the first time to the Hellenic Parliament. He fought for agrarian reform in Thessaly seeking to break up the big farms that existed there since the rule of the Ottoman Empire and redistribute them to the local farmers. In 1916, he joined the "National Defence" movement of Eleftherios Venizelos in Thessalonikimarker which sought to bring Greece at the side of the Allies of World War I. He was rewarded with the governorship of the Ionian Islandsmarker.

Interwar years

After World War I, Papanastasiou took part in several Venizelos governments as Minister of Transportation, Minister of National Health and Interior Minister. When Venizelos lost the Greek legislative election, 1920, he remained in Greece and criticised the People's Party governments under the successive Prime Ministers Dimitrios Rallis, Nikolaos Kalogeropoulos, Dimitrios Gounaris, Nikolaos Stratos and Petros Protopapadakis for their mishandling of the ongoing Greko-Turkish War.

Democratic Manifesto

Along with others, he published a document entitled "The Democratic Manifesto" which criticised the Monarchy, stating that Greece "...is the creation of the spirit, labour and struggles of her children. It is not the property of Royalty and no part of Greece can be sacrificed for the sake of personal interests of her monarch". For the publication of this manifesto, Papanastasiou was imprisoned along with the other signatories.

Post Asia-Minor expedition

When the People's Party government collapsed, following the Asia Minor disaster, Papanastasiou formed a government which, at his insistence, on March 25, 1924, proclaimed a Republic. The issue was submitted to a plebiscite with the voters approving the abolition of the monarchy on April 13, 1924. During his term of office, Papanastasiou also made proposals for the establishment of the University of Thessalonikimarker, the recognition of the common, demotic Modern Greek language, the establishment of adult education centres, etc.

From 1926 until 1928, he was Minister of Agriculture and was instrumental in the establishment of the Agrarian Bank of Greece.

Papanastasiou briefly served as Prime Minister once more between May and June 1932. In 1936, he was placed under house arrest by the government of Ioannis Metaxas.

Papanastasiou died of a heart attack on November 17, 1936.

Notes

  • Αλέξανδρος Παπαναστασίου: Θεσμοί, Ιδεολογία και Πολιτική στο Μεσοπόλεμο, Αθήνα, 1987, Πολύτυπο (συλλογικός τόμος, πρακτικά συνεδρίου).



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