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Koumoundouros, Alexandros

KOUMOUNDOUROS, ALEXANDROS (1814-1883), Greek statesman, whose name is commonly spelt Coumoundouros, was born in 1814. His studies at the university of Athens were repeatedly interrupted for lack of means, and he began to earn his living as a clerk. He took part in the Cretan insurrection of 1841, and in the demonstration of 1843, by which the Greek constitution was obtained from King Otto, he was secretary to General Theodoraki Grivas. He then settled down to the bar at Kalamata in Messenia, where he married a lady belonging to the Mavromichalis family. He was elected to the chamber in 1851, and four years later his eloquence and ability had secured the president's chair for him. He became minister of finance in 1856, and again in 1857 and 1859. He adhered to the moderate wing of the Liberal party until the revolution of 1862 and the dethronement of King Otto, when he was minister of justice in the provincial government. He was twice minister of the interior under Kanaris, in 1864 and in 1865. In March 1865 he became prime minister, and he formed several subsequent administrations in the intervals of the ascendancy of Tricoupi. During the Cretan insurrection of 1866-68 he made active warlike preparations against Turkey, but was dismissed by King George, who recognized that Greece could not act without the support of the Powers. He was again premier at the time of the outbreak of the insurrection in Thessaly in January 1878, and supported by Delyanni as minister of foreign affairs he sent an army of 10,000 men to help the insurgents against Turkey. The troops were recalled on the understanding that Greece should be represented at the Congress of Berlin. In October 1880 the fall of the Tricoupi ministry restored him to power, when he resumed his warlike policy, but repeated appeals to the courts of Europe yielded little practical result, and Koumoundouros was obliged to reduce his territorial demands and to accept the limited cessions in Thessaly and Epirus, which were carried out in July 1881. His ministry was overturned in 1882 by the votes of the new Thessalian deputies, who were dissatisfied with the administrative arrangements of the new province, and he died at Athens on the gth of March 1883.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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