John Metaxas

Metaxas, John


(loannis Metaxas). Born Apr. 12, 1871, on the island of Ithaca; died Jan. 29, 1941, in Athens. Greek state and political figure.

Metaxas received a higher military education in Germany. After returning to Greece in 1903, he served for many years as an officer on the General Staff. In 1921 he founded the monarchist Party of Freethinkers. After the establishment of a republic in Greece in 1924, Metaxas vigorously fought for the restoration of the monarchy. Metaxas was minister of war from January to April 1935, vice prime minister from April to October 1935, and prime minister from April to August 1936. On Aug. 4, 1936, under the pretext of the alleged danger of a “Communist plot,” Metaxas carried out a fascist coup d’etat, disbanded all political parties, and arrested their leaders. In foreign politics the government of Metaxas, who remained prime minister until his death, steered a course toward economic and political rapprochement between Greece and fascist Germany.