I 1920, December 5, YES to return of Constantine I
He had abdicated and gone into exile in Switzerland in 1917 (retaining his titular right) because of a disagreement with the charismatic and anti-royalist prime minister, Venizelos, over whether Greece should enter the war. Constantine supported the Central Powers, Venizelos the Entente.
He abdicated again on September 27 1922 after the Greek debâcle in Asia Minor and spent the last few months of his life in exile in Italy. He was succeeded by his eldest son, George II, but the defeat nearly destroyed the monarchy.
II 1924, April 13, NO to continuation of the reign of George II
George had himself gone into exile in December 1923 (Rumania, then Britain) after royalists had attempted and failed to take control of the government. A republican interlude followed: the only time after the revolutionary years of 1822-32 and before 1973 when Greece was a republic.
III 1935, November 3, YES to reinstatement of George II
Metaxas was the prime minister from 1936 to ’41 and died in office before the German invasion, but after the Italian invasion; despite his fascist sympathies, he had rejected an Italian ultimatum demanding the stationing of Italian troops in Greece.
George went into exile in Britain when the Germans invaded. The old regime had been quasi-fascist, but he did not become a German puppet.
IV 1946, September 1, YES to return of George II
V 1968, November 15, YES to new constitution prepared by the Colonels
Military junta of 1967-74. The monarchy was retained, but Constantine II had gone into exile (Italy, then Britain) at the end of 1967. He returned to live in Greece in 2013.
VI 1973, July 29, YES to Colonels’ proposed abolition of the monarchy
VII 1974, December 8, NO to reinstatement of the monarchy after the collapse of the junta
VIII 2015, July 5, YES or NO?
As far as I can see, the record of the monarchy was not entirely dishonourable.
A referendum about conditions for debt relief was proposed under Papandreou in 2011, but not carried out.
I don’t think these referenda, which were anyway often manipulated, justify Stiglitz’s rather shallow-sounding reference in the Guardian the other day to “Greece, with its strong democratic tradition”.
On the other hand, Greece has been holding parliamentary elections for nearly two centuries.
There’s a list of Greek monarchs after this post.