Alexandros Papanastasiou, the “Father of Democracy” as he was later called, was born in Tripoli in 1876. He studied Law in the University of Athens, as well as Sociology, Philology and Economics in the universities of London, Paris, Berlin and Heidelberg. He is considered to be the founder of the republic regime. He was a strong opponent of the royal monarchy, and on March 25, 1924 he declared the dynasty of Glücksburgs deposed.
Alexandros Papanastasiou entered the political scene in 1907, after his return from Germany, especially influenced by socialistic ideas. He founded the “Sociological Association” and published the magazine “Review of Social and Law Sciences”, with subscribers such as E. Venizelos, which had a great impact on the country’s intellectual society. In 1910 he founded a political party and he was elected in the Hellenic Parliament. In 1914, his party joined the Liberal party of E. Venizelos. His political career was quiet adventurous, since he served for many times as a minister and twice as Prime Minister in 1924 and in 1932. At the same time, he was imprisoned and repeatedly exiled. In 1936 he refused to give vote of confidence in Metaxa’s government and he was put in house arrest until his death on November 17, 1936.
Alexandros Papanastasiou was one of the most innovative Greek politicians and entirely dedicated to the principles of Democracy. He established the Agricultural Bank of Greece, the Agricultural University of Greece, the University of Thessaloniki and he also reorganized the National Technical University of Athens, by founding the Departments of Architecture and Topographical Engineers. It is interesting to add that he also drafted the Development Plan of Athens. He was a proponent of woman vote, the separation of State and Church and the abolition of the death penalty and he didn’t hesitate to legally protect the children born out of wedlock. He supported the notion of local governance, trade unions and the agrarian reform. Papanastasiou was considered a great pacifist since he struggled for the unity of the Balkan nations and the unity of European nations, in general.