Venizelos and economic policy
Eleftherios Venizelos did not link his name with the economy, yet it was the economy that was largely responsible for his downfall. It is history's irony, in his case, that he played a part in the emergence of a new world which, in the end, annulled him. He came to power with an ambitious reform policy, which included transforming the watchman state into the welfare state, a transformation that was already in progress in the developed countries. However, the abandonment of liberalism and the preponderance of state intervention in the economy, as well as the deflection towards autocratic means of dealing with social relations, were not necessarily part of the original plan. Venizelos was led empirically in this direction, without theoretical groundwork, which is perhaps why it is particularly interesting to explore the mechanisms that brought about this shift, which is, moreover, characteristic of European history in the inter-war period. Eleftherios Venizelos’ economic ‘training’ was that which secondary education and legal studies were able to provide at the time he was growing up, as well as what he gleaned from practical involvement with his family's business. We know that he was taught commercial courses at high school, and while in the law school of the University of Athens, where he studied from 1881 until 1887, he must have attended lectures in political economy by the ‘father of economic science in Greece’, Ioannis Soutzos. His spell of service in his father's firm was rather brief: he ran it himself from 1883 to 1885, after the death of his father Kyriakos, but finally sold it in order to dedicate himself to his studies and to his career as a lawyer. © editorial matter and organisation Paschalis M. Kitromilides, 2006, 2008 and the chapters their several authors, 2006, 2008.