Eleftherios Venizelos

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I had to decide whether I would be a lawyer by profession and a revolutionary at intervals, or a revolutionary by profession and a lawyer at intervals.

Elefthérios Kyriákou Venizélos (23 August 186418 March 1936) was a Greek politician. He was Prime Minister of Greece from 1910 to 1922, and again from 1928 to 1932.

Sourced[edit]

  • I had to decide [he said later] whether I would be a lawyer by profession and a revolutionary at intervals, or a revolutionary by profession and a lawyer at intervals.
    • Bagger, 1922, p. 61
  • The European policy is invariably the maintenance of the status quo, and you will do nothing for the subject races unless we, by taking initiative, make you realize that helping us against the Turks is the lesser of the evils.
    • Bagger, 1922, p. 67 and Gibbons, 1920, p. 27
    • Venizelos' answer to the question "Why don't you trust us implicitly?", made by British naval officer during the Cretan revolt in 1897. After the answer the Englishman replied "Damn it, the beggar is right!" and continued, "and I hope we shan't have to shoot him!"
  • Greece expects you not merely to die for her, for that is little, indeed; she expects you to conquer. That is why each one of you, even in dying, should be possessed by one thought alone – how to conserve your strength to the last so that those who survive may conquer.
    And you will conquer, I am more than sure of this.
    • Chester, 1921, p.162
    • Venizelos speaking to Greek sailors at the beginning of the First Balkan War.
  • Salonique à tout prix!
    • Chester, 1921, p. 159
    • A message sent to the General Staff during the First Balkan War, to insure that the Greek army will capture Thessaloniki at all costs.
  • One cannot kick against geography!
    • Seligman, 1920, p. 31
    • Part of Venizelos' arguments with king Constantine why Greece should join with the Allies in the World War I.
  • Neutrality is not politics.
    • Histoire diplomatique de la Grèce de 1821 à nos jours. tome V, Edouard Driault et Michel Lheritier, éd. PUF, 1926, p. 164
    • Venizelos about the decision of Consantine I to keep Greece neutral during WWI
  • Of course the King is mistaken. But is natural that he should be frighten of taking the plunge. We have lost a great opportunity by not intervening at once. But later the King may change his mind, and it may be not too late.
    • Seligman, 1920, p. 176
    • After one of the many attempts of Venizelos to persuade King Constantine, that Greece should join the Allies in the World War I.
I shall fight them!
  • I shall fight them!
    • Seligman, 1920, p. 178
    • In reply to the question, "What if you find German troops barring the way?" from the pro-German Greek MP Theotokis in the House. Later, Venizelos was dismissed from office.
  • A party should be founded not merely on numbers, but on moral principles, without which it can neither accomplish useful work nor inspire confidence.
    • Gibbons, 1920, p. 17
  • I do not wish to depreciate his great gifts and attainments in a country which unfortunately, if I may say so without offense, is suffering from a temporary lack of leading men."
    • Seligman, 1920, p. 165
    • In discussing the responsibility of Zaimes, Venizelos himself remarked in the Greek Chamber.
All my life with all my heart I wanted the union of Crete and Greece. I wanted it to be sustained by profound mutual affection. I swear that was my only desire...Greece will never see me again.
  • All my life with all my heart I wanted the union of Crete and Greece. I wanted it to be sustained by profound mutual affection. I swear that was my only desire. . . . Greece will never see me again.

Quotes about Venizelos[edit]

  • I am not going to talk of the grandeur of the Acropolis, nor do I intend to torment you with a lecture on archaeology. I have been to see strange and picturesque lands, among them Crete. You will never guess, though, my most interesting discovery in the island, one more interesting by far than the splendours of the excavations. I will tell you. A young advocate, a M. Venezuelos . . . Venizelos? Frankly, I cannot quite recall his name, but the whole of Europe will be speaking of him in a few years.
    • Chester, 1921, p. 5
    • The impressions of M. Clemenceau after his return from Greece in 1899 (11 years before Venizelos become Prime Minister).
When he is with me, I confess that his arguments are so convincing that I quickly begin to imagine that they are my own. - King Constantine
  • When he is with me, I confess that his arguments are so convincing that I quickly begin to imagine that they are my own.
    • Chester, 1921, p. 6
    • King Constantine reported to have said this for Venizelos.
  • When the two of us are alone and we disagree, Venizelos never convinces me! If we are three of us, I begin to waver. The moment he address several people, at cabinet meeting for instance, it often happens that I am carried away too, along with the others!
    • Kitromilides, 2006, p. 175
    • Minister George Steit describing the persuasiveness ability of Venizelos.
  • Venizelos and Lenin are the only two really great men in Europe.
    • Harold Nicolson, Peacemaking 1919, p. 251 (from a letter to his father)
  • Merely the fact that his name has been so dominant among all citizens of this country - with his supporters known as Venizelists and his opponents as anti-Venizelists - testifies to the significance of the deceased and the role he played.
    • Mathiopoulos, Basil P (28/10/2005). A fitting tribute to Venizelos. Athens News.
    • On March 1936, Ioannis Metaxas, an opponent of Venizelos, speaking at a special session of parliament convened to honour Eleftherios Venizelos' contribution.

Unsourced[edit]

  • In every war England wins one battle. The last one.
    • On his belief that the Allies would win in WWI.
  • We are not against communism, because even Christ teached about communism. We are against the barbarian methods of the Bolsheviks, which some people want to transfer in the political life.
    • During a speech in the Greek parliament, about the Idionymon law against the Communist Party of Greece.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

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