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Born July 20, 1914, in Palaiozoglopi, Thessaly. Figure in the Greek workers’ movement. Member of the Communist Party of Greece (CPG) from 1941.
In 1943 and 1944, Florakis served in the National Popular Liberation Army, which was fighting the fascist German occupiers. During the Greek civil war of 1946–49, he held a number of command positions in the Democratic Army of Greece and was eventually made commander of the 1st Division. He became a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPG in 1949 and a member of the Central Committee in 1950. In 1954 he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment, but he was freed in 1966 at the demand of the people. After the military coup d’etat of April 1967, Florakis was again arrested; he remained in prison until April 1972. In June 1972 he became a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPG, and in December of the same year he became first secretary of the Central Committee. Florakis was awarded the Order of Friendship of Peoples in 1974.