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Greece and the Inter-War Economic Crisis$
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Mark Mazower

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202059

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202059.001.0001

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The Greek Political World

The Greek Political World

(p.19) 2 The Greek Political World
Greece and the Inter-War Economic Crisis


Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a brief history of Greek politics. In October 1922 the young Ernest Hemingway, reporting for the Toronto Daily Star, witnessed the flight of refugees from eastern Thrace into Macedonia. To the small country which received them, the refugees were perhaps the saddest part of a legacy of burdens bequeathed by ten years of fighting. The arrival of over one million newcomers in a country of less than five million complicated the arduous task of post-war reconstruction and worsened the country's long-standing demographic problem. There was also another wartime inheritance, and this was one which poisoned the political system for the entire inter-war period. The ethnikos dichasmos (national schism), which arose over the issue of Greece's stance in the First World War, continued to divide politicians and exhaust their energies after 1918. This dichasmos became the most prominent feature of the Greek political landscape, and the responses of policy-makers to the economic crisis cannot be understood without reference to it.

Keywords:   Greece, political history, ethnikos dichasmos, First World War, Greek economic crisis

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