Venizelos, Eleutherios (1864–1936), a Greek statesman, several times premier of Greece. His nationalist diplomacy and democratic policies strengthened his country and extended its territory.
Venizelos was born on the island of Crete, and studied law in Athens. He was a leader of revolts in Crete against Turkey in 1897 and in 1908. In 1910 he came to Athens as adviser to a new military party. Venizelos became premier the same year and brought about many constitutional reforms. He was reappointed premier in 1912, and helped form an alliance of Balkan states against Turkey. At the peace conference following the Balkan Wars (1912–13), Venizelos won Crete and other territory for Greece.
Venizelos favored the Allies in World War I in opposition to the pro-German policy of Greece's King Constantine. Venizelos formed an anti-German provisional government in 1916 and, after Constantine abdicated in 1917, again headed the regular Greek government. After the war the premier played an important role at the peace conferences and gained more territory for Greece. When King Constantine returned to power in 1920, Venizelos left Greece. In 1922 he was recalled for a short while and represented Greece at the Lausanne peace conference. In 1928 he again became premier. He resigned in 1933 and led the opposition to the royalist regime. In 1935 his party tried to put Venizelos back in power but the revolution failed, and Venizelos fled to Paris. He died there.