Ioannis Diakos

Ioannis Diakos [Ιωάννης Διάκος] was the private secretary and personal aide of Metaxas.

A former journalist-publicist, he was the director of the “Efimeridos ton Ellinon” (“Newspaper of the Greeks”), which was an organ of the Union of Royalists. His relationship with Metaxas began many years before August 4, 1936 – they were acquaintances from the days of the failed counter-revolutionary movement of 1923.

Their relations were restored during the dictatorship, when Metaxas appointed Diakos as a minister without portfolio. From that position Diakos became a successful power broker, a political fixer and a influential adviser for Metaxas.

His role raised suspicions among many. The English ambassador to Athens considered him “a sinister and shadowy figure”. In the same vein, the Foreign Office described him as “the ’eminence grise’ of the dictatorship, [who attended] all cabinet meetings, and [controlled] large industrial and financial interests” and described him as “…an able, unscrupulous and aggressive schemer”, while the historian PJ Vatikiotis regarded him as “a strange and mysterious figure, highly influential in the government of Metaxas as the major rival of the other strong personality in that government, Kostas Kotzias”.

Besides being one of Metaxas’ closest associates, Diakos was also the chief go-between the dictator and the financial and business circles, and the closest link between Metaxas and the arms sales.

In April 1941, when the Germans invaded Greece, Diakos fled to Alexandria with the pro-British government in exile.


– Andreas Markessinis