Admiral Paul Koundouriotis was a prominent Venizelist who had briefly served as Regent in 1920 between the unexpected death of young King Alexander and the electoral defeat of Venizelos. Someone attempted to assassinate him on December 21 but the culprit was never caught nor identified. From Gilbert’s discussions with the Royalists in government as well as the Opposition politicians, he concluded that the Royalists were not involved. Young Gilbert’s easy access to high-level politicians is remarkable.
Assassinations were not infrequent in that era. King George I was shot in March 1913 just days before his 50th anniversary as King of the Hellenes. After someone attempted to assassinate Venizelos in Paris in July 1920, Venizelists killed the writer and politician Ion Dragoumis in Athens. And just after Gilbert arrived in Greece in December 1921, an Armenian in Rome assassinated the former Ottoman Grand Vizier for his role in the Armenian genocide.
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