Greece The Rise of the Liberal Party
Source: The Library of Congress Country Studies
The first years of the 1900s witnessed mass demonstrations against social conditions and a chaotic upheaval of new political factions, but no strong party or leader emerged. Venizelos became leader of the new Liberal Party, which drew support from nationalist professionals, workers, and merchants and tried to fill the needs of all those classes. In 1910 and in 1912, the Liberal Party won two national elections, making Venizelos prime minister and passing reform legislation at a frantic pace. New state bureaucracies were established, and the powers of the governmental branches were substantially reworked by constitutional amendment. Social laws established workers' rights and simplified taxes while Venizelos built military support by expanding and reequipping the army. The first years of Venizelos's power stabilized Greece's finances and stemmed the massive social unrest that had promised major upheaval.
Data as of December 1994
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