“I do not allow any simmering opposition to my will”

Taken from the statements of Ioannis Metaxas when he himself took over the Ministry of Education (29 November 1938)

[…] I expect from all the teaching staff undivided assistance. I want to tell you about a trait of my character, which I am not in an age to alter. I discuss with everyone and allow, when a decision is to be taken, every discussion and every opposition to me freely.

But when I take the decision, and in many a case I may take it contrary to your opinions, this decision will be definite and irreversible and nothing will be able to make me surrender from this decision. It goes without saying, in the course of implementation, no one will stop me.

The one who will have the opposite view will have to succumb to and accept my opinion. I accept dialogue in advance, but if the decision becomes manifest through a command, act or law, then no opposition is permitted. And to this matter I beg you to pay a lot of attention. By opposition I do not mean only that which nobody can demonstrate, that is from the typical point of view, but also internal, that is the lack of hierarchy and submission of spirit.

For this I beg you, being acquainted with my character and this my trait as concerns this matter, that all of you conform, as you will naturallly do, so as not to turn against anyone not wishing to absolutely comply with this trait of my character, not to find myself in a difficult position. I do not permit to anyone -and I beg you to communicate it to all your inferiors- any simmering opposition to my wills manifested in any way.

This text is published in Dimaras Alexis’ “I Mettarrythmisi Pou Den Egine”, Athens, Nea Elliniki Vivliothiki, 1974, pp. 189-190)