12 April 1871 – 29 January 1941) was a Greek military officer and politician, serving as Prime Minister of Greece from 1936 until his death in 1941. He governed constitutionally for the first four months of his tenure, and thereafter as the strongman of the authoritarian 4th of August Regime. On 28 October 1940 he denied an ultimatum imposed by the Italians to surrender Greece to the Axis, thus bringing Greece in WW2.

Ioannis Metaxas 1937 cropped
His regime was inspired by fascism, for example, in his corporatism, the use of the Roman salute by his supporters and in a National Youth Organisation which used the Labrys (an old Greek double-bladed axe) as its symbol and had clearly totalitarian ambitions. Sometimes, he even called his own regime totalitarian. However, he banned his own Freethinkers' Party after starting the 4th August Regime, which was unusual for fascist leaders.

He founded an ideology called Metaxism, which is still influential in Greek far-right circles. For example, the parties Golden Dawn and LEPEN in Greece and the ELAM in Cyprus continue his legacy today.

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