The Regime of the Fourth of August and society

The dictatorship of Metaxas made vigorous efforts to secure wider popular support. However, the unequal distribution of income in particular caused discontent among the city's labour force, the majority of petit bourgeois and farmers, a feeling that was openly expressed against the Regime of the Fourth of August. It is characteristic that the purchasing power of the population in the period 1935-40, was lower than that of 1929. During the four-year dictatorship, the state mechanism, violently stripping political parties of their role as go-betweens, functioned exclusively as an independent political power. Various representative bodies (unions, professional associations, corporations etc.) were abolished or turned into vehicles of state policy. However, the systematic suppression of every kind of activity, both in the public and private spheres, obstructed the manifestation of every protest or popular outburst more effectively than any other economic or social measure.
In its turn the press, the newly established radio and large rallies were the exclusive means of contact the Regime had with the people. In this way the build-up of discontent was prevented, as large-scale contact between organized opposition groups with popular classes was prohibited. The function of political parties was banned and those considered opponents of the Regime suffered various forms of persecution: incarceration, torture and exile. Removing the latter from the political scene, Metaxas unquestionably prevailed despite the fact that he had limited popular appeal.