Nikolaos Plastiras

“Mavros Kavalaris” Nikolaos Plastiras

Military and political, with intense action in the first half of the 20th century. He was born in Vounesi (today’s Morphovoyni) of Karditsa, on 4 November 1883. He took part in the Macedonian Struggle and participated in the movement in Goudi (1909), which brought Eleftherios Venizelos to power.

In 1912, he took part in the Balkan Wars and was distinguished in many battles. Indeed, in the Battle of Lacha, his co-founders gave him the nickname “Mavros Kavalaris”. In the period of the National Division (1916) he was composed with Eleftherios Venizelos and joined the National Defense Movement, while in the Asia Minor campaign he was distinguished during the Turkish counterattack in Sangaryo, which caused the collapse of the Front. After the Asia Minor Catastrophe he participated in the creation of the “Revolutionary Committee” that forced King Constantine to resign in favor of George II’s son.

Plastiras called Eleftherios Venizelos from exile to lead the Greek delegation in the negotiations with Turkey, which led to the Treaty of Lausanne (1923).

From 1924 to 1933, Nicholas Plastiras lives between Italy and Greece. When in the March 6, 1933 election, the anti-Venizelian “United Opposition” emerged victorious, Plastiras attempted to prevent political change with a failed coup. With the possibility of prosecution for final betrayal, he secretly departed and settled in Nice, France. In the end, he was not prosecuted for the coup, but for the post-Venizelist movement of March 1, 1935. Although he was far from Greece, he was sentenced to death with Venizelos.

During Metaxas’ dictatorship, he was the leader of an anti-dictatorial movement. After Liberation and “December” (1944), Plastiras was appointed prime minister. In his government are all political forces outside the communists. His prime minister signed the Varkiza Agreement (1945), under which the Communists and the EAM would hand over their armaments. The publication of his letter asking for capitulation with Italy during the Greek-Italian war caused his resignation on 10 April 1945.

During the Civil War it remained out of the political scene. At the end of his term, he founded the EPEK together with Emmanuel Tsoudero and after the elections on March 5, 1950, he formed a coalition government with George Papandreou, who will have a life of only five months, taking measures limiting the persecution of the communist.

In the elections of 9 September 1951, EEPC came second after the Papagos Alarm. A coalition government was formed with Prime Minister Plastiras, who took measures to reconstruct the country with infrastructure, nationalization, social benefits, land distribution to the landowners and vote for women.

In the November 16th, 1952 elections, Plastiras’ call to the left for a tug-of-war is falling. The EEPC is broken down by state and divided. His political career will end, like his life, a few months later on July 26, 1953.

Plastiras was a capable military, honest politician and model of man, loved by the people. The artificial lake of Tauropus, which was first envisioned, was named in his honor Lake Plastiras.