Eleftherios Venizelos has been rightfully been placed on the Greek pantheon of distinguished politicians. He was a dreamer, a visionary since childhood. He participated in the national cause for freedom and was declared champion. He defended justice, morality, national regeneration and reformation.
He was a staunch fighter, obstinate, perceptive and astute politician. He led the country on the road of national interest and of higher goals. His role in national affairs was a decisive while his personality became a point of reference not only on a national but also on an international scale. He was acknowledged as a great national leader. He was considered a leading European politician and when he spoke, according to his contemporary president of the French Republic, he was transformed into a modern Ulysses.
He was born at Mournies in the Province of Chania on the island of Crete on August 23, 1864. Soon his family and himself fled to the isle of Syros because his father was wanted by the Turks for his leading role in the Cretan uprising. Since then his desire to see his country free one day because a promise, a task that required his active participation in the national struggle.
In 1889 he was elected member of Greek parliament and immediately started to champion the Cretan cause to the Great Powers of the West. In March 1905 he joined the rebel forces of Crete to also promote the constitutional rights of Cretans. His name and place of activity, Therissos, became familiar to all Greeks.
His experience in the diplomatic field proved invaluable and in 1910 he was elected Prime Minister of Greece. He dominated the political scene for many years while he served his country as prime minister for a few more terms.
He always acted in the light of the best interest of his country, without taking into account the political cost for him and his administration. Even his enemies acknowledged his quick and accurate decisions.
He adopted an inflexible attitude concerning national matters, which resulted in two assassination attempts which cost him his life in Paris on March 18, 1936