The governing of Greece by Eleftherios Venizelos, 1928-1932

After a series of approaches, founder of the Liberal party 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 were unusual in the continuous flux of governmental groupings of the inter-war period, as the political balance at least was preserved until the resignation of the old statesman (May 1932). Despite the impressive moves of Venizelos in the field of foreign policy (Friendship Agreement with Turkey), his governing at home did not have the appeal expected of it. At the beginning of 1930, ideological gaps which had previously divided the two blocs were to a certain extent bridged. Nevertheless the electoral body clearly recalled the Schism. (This was the process begun in the mid-1910s by which the Greek people were divided into two conflicting blocs [the Venizelists and the Royalists], over the crucial issue of whether the country should participate in the First World War. This conflict revived in the inter-war period on new terms. Most important among these was an accumulated emotional charge, the result of multiple contentions and mutual distrust).

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