Caramanlis, Constantine

Karamanlis, Constantine

Karamanlis, or Caramanlis, Constantine (kônˈstäntēn kärämänlēsˈ), 1907–98, president of Greece (1980–85, 1990–95), b. Turkish Macedonia. A member of parliament in 1935–36, he was reelected in 1946 and held various cabinet posts until Oct., 1955, when he became Greece's youngest premier. He held that post until June, 1963, except for brief intervals in 1958 and 1961, while his right-wing National Radical Union continued to gain majorities in the general elections. A partisan of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Karamanlis reached (1959) agreement with Great Britain and Turkey over Cyprus. In 1959 he announced a five-year plan (1960–64) for the Greek economy, emphasizing improvement of agricultural and industrial production. After his cabinet fell in 1963, Karamanlis went into exile abroad. He was a vocal opponent of the military junta that seized power in Greece in 1967. In July, 1974, the junta fell, following a disastrous military venture in Cyprus. Karamanlis returned as premier and leader of the New Democracy party, which gained a substantial majority in the elections of Nov., 1974. He began immediately to undo the work of the military government, reestablishing civil liberties and presiding over the restoration of democracy. A plebiscite in Dec., 1975, made Greece a republic and abolished the monarchy. Karamanlis served as premier until 1980 and as president from 1980 to 1985. He oversaw Greece's entry (1981) into the European Community (now the European Union). He held the presidency again in 1990–95, and was succeeded by Kostis Stephanopoulos.
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Caramanlis, Constantine

 

(Konstantinos Karaman-lis). Born Feb. 23, 1907, in the city of Proti. Greek statesman and politician.

By training, Caramanlis is a lawyer. In 1935–36 and again in 1946, he was elected to parliament from the Populist (monarchist) Party. Between 1946 and 1955 he occupied a number of ministerial posts. In August 1951 he joined the Greek Rally, the party of the big industrial and financial bourgeoisie. In January 1956 he reorganized the National Rally as the National Radical Union. During the years 1955–58, 1958–61, and 1961–63, Caramanlis was prime minister of Greece. The domestic policy of his government was noted for the suppression of democratic freedoms and the persecution of progressive forces. Under his rule Greece became more dependent economically and politically on the USA and further subordinated to the interests of NATO. Under pressure from the masses, Caramanlis resigned in June 1963 and emigrated to France.

When the military dictatorship collapsed in July 1974, Car-manlis became prime minister in the interim government. InSeptember 1974 he reconstituted the National Radical Union asthe New Democracy Party, with himself as leader of the party.On Nov. 21, 1974, Caramanlis became prime minister of thereorganized Greek government.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.