Alexandros Zaimis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Alexandros Zaimis
Αλέξανδρος Ζαΐμης
President of Greece
In office
10 December 1929 – 10 October 1935
Preceded byPavlos Kountouriotis
Succeeded byGeorgios Kondylis (as Regent)
Prime Minister of Greece
In office
4 December 1926 – 4 July 1928
PresidentPavlos Kountouriotis
Preceded byGeorgios Kondilis
Succeeded byEleftherios Venizelos
In office
5 February 1917 – 27 June 1917
MonarchConstantine I
Preceded bySpyridon Lambros
Succeeded byEleftherios Venizelos
In office
22 June 1916 – 16 September 1916
MonarchConstantine I
Preceded byStephanos Skouloudis
Succeeded byNikolaos Kalogeropoulos
In office
7 October 1915 – 7 November 1915
MonarchConstantine I
Preceded byEleftherios Venizelos
Succeeded byStephanos Skouloudis
In office
25 November 1901 – 6 December 1902
MonarchGeorge I
Preceded byGeorgios Theotokis
Succeeded byTheodoros Deligiannis
In office
3 October 1897 – 14 April 1899
MonarchGeorge I
Preceded byDimitrios Rallis
Succeeded byGeorgios Theotokis
High Commissioner of Crete
In office
18 September 1906 – 24 September 1908
MonarchGeorge I
Preceded byPrince George of Greece
Succeeded by(Unification with Greece unilaterally declared)
Personal details
Born(1855-11-09)9 November 1855[1]
Athens, Kingdom of Greece
Died15 September 1936(1936-09-15) (aged 80)
Vienna, Federal State of Austria
Political partyNationalist Party[2]
Third Party (1902–1924)
Independent (1924–1935)
ResidenceKerpini, Kalavryta, Achaia prefecture, Peloponnese, Greece

Alexandros Zaimis (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Ζαΐμης; 9 November 1855 – 15 September 1936) was a Greek politician who served as Greece's Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior, Minister of Justice, and High Commissioner of Crete. He served as Prime Minister six times, and although a leader of the monarchist faction was the third and last President of the Second Hellenic Republic.

Early life and family[edit]

He was born in Athens and was the son of Thrasyvoulos Zaimis, a former Prime Minister of Greece, and Eleni Mourouzi. His brother was Asimakis Zaimis. On his father's side he was the grandson of Andreas Zaimis, another former Prime Minister of Greece, and related to the great Kalavrytan family with notable participation in the Greek War of Independence from 1821. From his mother's side he was a descendant of an important Fanariote family of the Mourozidon. His family lived in Kerpini, Kalavryta in the Achaia prefecture.

He studied law at the University of Athens and at the University of Heidelberg. He also attended the universities of Leipzig, Paris and Berlin.

Political career[edit]

Alexandros became involved in politics after the death of his father who was the elected member of parliament for Kalavryta.

He became a Member of Parliament in 1885. He served as Minister of the Interior and Justice Minister in Theodoros Deligiannis' government (1890–92) and Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament (1895-97). He became Prime Minister for the first time in 1897.

Appointment as High Commissioner[edit]

In 1906, he was appointed as High Commissioner of Crete[3] and presided over a critical period of the island's history up to the de facto union of Crete with Greece in 1908.

Re-election as Prime Minister[edit]

Zaimis between c. 1910 and 1915

Alexandros Zaimis was re-elected as Prime Minister a further five times. He was appointed Prime Minister under King Constantine I to succeed Venizelos in October 1915, but resigned a month later when his government failed to receive a vote of confidence. In 1917, Zaimis served again as Prime Minister under King Constantine I, while Eleftherios Venizelos led a rival government controlling northern Greece. Under Entente pressure, he resigned in favor of Venizelos in June of the same year. During World War I, he was generally supposed to favor neutrality for Greece, but to be personally in favor of the Allies.

A moderate conservative, he served again as Prime Minister in the Second Hellenic Republic, from 1926 to 1928, in a coalition government of Venizelist and moderate conservatives.

Zaimis was elected the third and last President of the Second Hellenic Republic in 1929. He was reelected in 1933. However, only two years into his second term, he was thrown out of office by Georgios Kondylis, who abolished the Republic and proclaimed himself regent pending the results of a referendum on restoring the monarchy. This referendum resulted in George II being recalled to the throne by almost 98 percent of the vote, an implausibly high total that could have only been obtained through fraud.

Death and legacy[edit]

He died on 15 September 1936 in Vienna, Austria and was buried in the First Cemetery of Athens. He was married without children. The political legacy of his family was continued by his siblings and cousins.


  1. ^ Note: Greece officially adopted the Gregorian calendar on 16 February 1923 (which became 1 March). All dates prior to that, unless specifically denoted, are Old Style.
  2. ^ Papyrus Larousse Britannica, tome 25, p. 298, 299
  3. ^ Svolopoulos, The Period of Autonomy, p. 479.


  • Svolopoulos, Konstantinos (1988). "Η Περίοδος της Αυτονομίας ("The Period of Autonomy")". In Panagiotakis, Nikolaos M. (ed.). Crete, History and Civilization (in Greek). II. Vikelea Library, Association of Regional Associations of Regional Municipalities. pp. 459–492.
  • Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Zaimis, Alexander" . Encyclopedia Americana.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Greece
3 October 1897 – 14 April 1899
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Greece
25 November 1901 – 6 December 1902
Succeeded by
Preceded by High Commissioner of Crete
18 September 1906 – 24 September 1908
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Greece
7 October 1915 – 7 November 1915
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Greece
22 June 1916 – 16 September 1916
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Greece
5 February 1917 – 27 June 1917
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Greece
4 December 1926 – 4 July 1928
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Greece
Succeeded by
Georgios Kondylis (as Regent)
Notes and references
1. Kitromilides, Paschalis (2006). Eleftherios Venizelos: The Trials of Statesmanship, p 88, ISBN 0-7486-2478-3