The dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas, 1936-1940

With the full consent of the throne and backed by British support, the Regime of the Fourth of August managed to establish itself in power without meeting any serious resistance. Moreover, the inertia of the two basic party blocs (Venizelist and anti-Venizelist politicians), together with a policy of immediate suppression, eliminated any possible pockets of resistance. Parliament was dissolved, all activity on the part of political parties was prohibited and the opponents of the Regime were sent into exile. By removing the latter from the political scene, Ioannis Metaxas established himself on a popular platform, despite his limited impact. His policy was characterized by authoritarianism but also the advancement of a personality cult around himself. Towards the end of the 1930s, attempts to prepare for the imminent war (equipment, integration into the British allies' network) became a particular pre-occupation of the Regime. The culmination of Italian provocation with the torpedoing of the warship Elli in August 1940 demonstrated to the leadership of the country the inevitability of war.

Ioannis Metaxas' rejection of the Italian ultimatum on 28 October 1940 launched the country into the swirl of a destructive worldwide war. The conflict would overthrow all the earlier socio-economic correlation between powers, the boundaries between political blocs, their characters, the way power itself was exercised. In the middle of the next decade, not only the issues at stake but their advocates too would be completely transformed.