Tzannis Tzannetakis

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Tzannis Tzannetakis
Τζαννής Τζαννετάκης
Prime Minister of Greece
In office
2 July 1989 12 October 1989
President Christos Sartzetakis
Preceded by Andreas Papandreou
Succeeded by Ioannis Grivas
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
3 July 1989 12 October 1989
Preceded by Karolos Papoulias
Succeeded by Georgios Papoulias
Personal details
Born(1928-09-13)13 September 1928
Gytheio, Greece
Died1 April 2010(2010-04-01) (aged 81)
Athens, Greece
Political party New Democracy
Spouse(s)Maria Rangousi

Tzannis Tzannetakis (Greek : Τζαννής Τζαννετάκης) (13 September 1928 – 1 April 2010) was a Greek politician who was briefly Prime Minister of Greece during the political crisis of 1989.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning at least 3500 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.



Tzannetakis was born in Gytheio in the region of Mani in 1928. He served as a military officer but resigned on 22 April 1967, the day after the military coup d'état which brought the dictatorship of Georgios Papadopoulos to power. He was imprisoned by the military junta from 1969 to 1971 for his resistance activity.

Gytheio Place in Greece

Gytheio or Gythio, also the ancient Gythium or Gytheion, is a town on the eastern shore of the Mani Peninsula, and a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality East Mani, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 197.313 km2. It was the seaport of Sparta, some 40 kilometres north. Gytheio is the site of ancient Cranae, a tiny island where according to legend Paris of Troy and Helen from Sparta spent their first night together before departing for Troy, thus igniting the Trojan War.

Mani Peninsula

The Mani Peninsula, also long known by its medieval name Maina or Maïna (Μαΐνη), is a geographical and cultural region in southern Greece that is home to the Maniots, who claim descent from the ancient Spartans. The capital cities of Mani are Gytheio and Areopoli. Mani is the central peninsula of the three which extend southwards from the Peloponnese in southern Greece. To the east is the Laconian Gulf, to the west the Messenian Gulf. The Mani peninsula forms a continuation of the Taygetos mountain range, the western spine of the Peloponnese.

Georgios Papadopoulos Greek soldier and junta leader

Georgios Papadopoulos was the head of the military coup d'état that took place in Greece on 21 April 1967, and leader of the junta that ruled the country from 1967 to 1974. He held his dictatorial power until 1973, when he was himself overthrown by his co-conspirator Dimitrios Ioannidis.

When democracy was restored in 1974, Tzannetakis joined the New Democracy party of Constantine Karamanlis. From 1974-77 he served as General Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism. He was elected to the Greek Parliament in 1977 and served as Minister for Public Works in the government of Georgios Rallis (1980–81).

New Democracy (Greece) Greek political party

The New Democracy is a liberal-conservative political party in Greece. In modern Greek politics, New Democracy has been the main centre-right political party and one of the two major parties along with its historic rival, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). Having spent four and a half years in opposition, New Democracy regained its majority in the Hellenic Parliament and returned to government under Kyriakos Mitsotakis after the 2019 legislative election.

Georgios Ioannou Rallis, anglicised to George Rallis, was a Greek conservative politician and Prime Minister of Greece from 1980 to 1981.

Prime Minister

The June 1989 Greek legislative election left the PASOK party of Andreas Papandreou in the minority, following a series of government scandals. New Democracy, however, now led by Constantine Mitsotakis, could not form a government despite its significant lead in the popular vote, because of changes to Greek electoral law that PASOK had voted into effect before the elections. The result was the formation of the first coalition government since the fall of the Greek dictatorship in 1974 and the first government to include the Communist left since 1944.

June 1989 Greek legislative election

Parliamentary elections were held in Greece on 18 June 1989. The liberal-conservative New Democracy party of Constantine Mitsotakis defeated the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) of Andreas Papandreou. However, New Democracy could not form a government, despite its 5% lead in the popular vote, because of the Proportional representation voted into electoral law by the previous PASOK government.

Andreas Papandreou Greek politician

Andreas Georgios Papandreou was a Greek economist, politician and a dominant figure in Greek politics, known for founding the political party PASOK, which he led from 1974 to 1996. He served three terms as prime minister of Greece, and is frequently regarded as one of the greatest modern Prime Ministers of the country.

The government was based on an alliance between ND and the Coalition of Forces of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos), which then included the Communist Party of Greece, with a mandate to conduct a clean-up ("katharsis") after the scandals. The agreement was for a short-term government which would last only until the process of parliamentary investigation of those Members of Parliament accused of involvement in the scandals had been completed. Tzannetakis was a compromise candidate for Prime Minister, given that the left refused to accept Mitsotakis in this role. In contrast, Tzannetakis was acceptable to the left because of his credentials from the anti-Junta resistance. In addition to the premiership, Tzannetakis also retained the portfolios of Foreign Affairs and of Tourism.

Synaspismos political party

The Coalition of the Left, of Movements and Ecology, commonly known as Synaspismos and abbreviated to SYN (ΣΥΝ), was a Greek political party of the radical New Left. It was founded in 1991 and was known as the Coalition of the Left and Progress until 2003. In 2004 SYN was a founding member of the Party of the European Left.

Communist Party of Greece political party in Greece

The Communist Party of Greece is a Marxist–Leninist political party in Greece. Founded in 1918 as the Socialist Labour Party of Greece, it is the oldest political party in modern Greek politics. The party was banned in 1936, but played a significant role in the Greek resistance and the Greek Civil War, and its membership peaked in the mid-1940s. Legalization of the KKE was restored following the fall of the Greek military junta of 1967–1974.

The formation of a government bringing together the Greek right and the communist left was regarded as symbolising national reconciliation after the 1940s civil war. One of the government's acts was to burn all the secret police files held on Greek citizens during the post-Civil War period.

The parliamentary investigation into the scandals concluded with the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of several former government ministers, including former Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou himself, and their referral to the justice system. This was the first time that a former Greek Prime Minister had ever been referred for trial.

The Tzannetakis government also abolished the state monopoly on TV broadcasting and allowed private TV stations to function for the first time.


In accordance with the initial agreement among the coalition partners, the government resigned in October. Yiannis Grivas then formed a caretaker government until fresh elections could be held. New Democracy won these elections too, but once more could not form a government, despite tallying 46% of the vote, with PASOK coming second with 40%. In November an "ecumenical government", headed by Xenophon Zolotas, with the participation of all three political parties (New Democracy, PASOK, Synaspismos) was formed, again with an agreement for a short-term mandate to last until the election of the President of the Republic, due the following March. In the Zolotas government, Tzannis Tzannetakis served as Minister for Tourism and National Defence. In the election of April 1990, for the third consecutive time within a year, New Democracy (Greece) won, this time with an even more significant lead of 8% over PASOK, securing the party a one-seat majority. In the Mitsotakis government, Tzannetakis became Deputy Prime Minister, a post he held until the government fell in 1993. He remained a Member of the Greek Parliament until September 2007, when he announced his intention to retire from political activity.

Xenophon Zolotas Prime Minister of Greece

Xenophon Zolotas was a Greek economist and served as an interim non-party Prime Minister of Greece.

Tzannetakis died in an Athens hospital on 1 April 2010.

Political offices
Preceded by
Stefanos Manos
Minister for Public Works
Succeeded by
Athanasios Apostolos
Preceded by
Karolos Papoulias
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Georgios Papoulias
Preceded by
Andreas Papandreou
Prime Minister of Greece
Succeeded by
Ioannis Grivas
Preceded by
Theodoros Degiannis
Minister for National Defence
Succeeded by
Theodoros Degiannis
Preceded by
Georgios Mylonas
Minister for Culture
Succeeded by
Anna Benaki-Psarouda
Title last held by
Ioannis Charalambopoulos
Menios Koutsogiorgas
Deputy Prime Minister of Greece
Served alongside: Athanasios Kanellopoulos (1990–1992)
Title next held by
Theodoros Pangalos

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