National Radical Union

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The National Radical Union (Greek Εθνική Ριζοσπαστική Ενωσις - Ethniki Rizospastiki Enosis - ERE) was a conservative Greek political party founded by Constantine Karamanlis. Its predecessor was the Greek Rally of Alexandros Papagos.

When PM Papagos died in office on October 4, 1955, King Paul of Greece gave the mandate to Karamanlis to form a government. In doing so, the King bypassed both Stephanos Stephanopoulos and Panagiotis Kanellopoulos who were considered front-runners for the spot. Karamanlis, seeking to push aside suggestions that he was undeserving of the post, formed the National Radical Union on January 4, 1956, to seek election in his own right as Prime Minister. 170 of 200 Greek Rally MPs followed him.

On February 19, 1956, newly-formed ERE won 165 seats of 300 and formed a self-sustaining government despite polling fewer votes than the Centre-Left Democratic Union coalition.

ERE repeated their victory in 1958 and 1961. Their government was responsible for much of the post-World War II recovery in Greece but was largely influenced by the Cold War mentality of that era.

ERE fell out of power in 1963, defeated by the Centre Union of Georgios Papandreou and Karamanlis left for self-imposed exile in France. He was succeeded as leader of the party by Panagiotis Kanellopoulos who was in power at the time of the April 21, 1967 coup d' etat.

After the restoration of democracy in 1974, Constantine Karamanlis formed the New Democracy party to succeed ERE.