Konstantinos Karamanlis


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(b. 8 Mar. 1907, d. 23 Apr. 1998).

Prime Minister of Greece 1955–63, 1974–80; President 1980–5Born near Serres, Macedonia, he qualified and practised as a lawyer until serving in parliament in 1935–6 for the Populist Party. He re‐entered parliament in 1946, and subsequently contributed greatly to Greek reconstruction after World War II. Karamanlis joined the Greek Rally Party in 1951 and, after a successful period as Minister for Public Works, he succeeded Alexandros Papagos as Prime Minister. In 1955, he also founded the Greek Radical Union Party. His attempt to achieve domestic stability through US aid and membership of the EEC (European integration) failed. In 1967, the election victory of his opponent, Georgios Papandreou, precipitated the Greek colonels' coup. He went into exile in Paris, but returned in 1974 to supervise the country's transition to democracy. He founded the New Democracy Party, which became the major right‐wing force in Greek politics. He now successfully engineered Greek membership of the EEC and, as President, was a respected elder statesman with a soothing influence in the heated atmosphere of Greek politics, especially under the premiership of Andreas Papandreou.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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