Dear Comrades and Friends,
With great sorrow we inform you that the honorary chairman of our Party, comrade Harilaos Florakis, passed away on Sunday the 22nd of May at the age of 91.
The coffin of cde. Harilaos Florakis will rest in the headquarters of the CC the party in Perissos, his “home”, on Tuesday the 24th of May from 9 in the morning until the 9th hour at the evening and on Wednesday the 25th from 9 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon, available for the last respects of the people.
The last farewell (the civil funeral) will be held on Wednesday the 25th of May in the courtyard of the building of the Central Committee at 18:00.
The burial of cde Harilaos Florakis will take place on Thursday the 26th May at Paliozoglopi in the municipality of Itamos in Thessaly, in the mountains of Agrapha at 16:00
The International Section of the CC of CPG
A CONCISE BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE of HARILAOS FLORAKIS
Harilaos Florakis was born on 20th July, 1914 in the village of Rahoula, Municipality of Itamos, in the Agrafa region of Thessaly. He was the fourth of his family’s six children.
At just fifteen years of age, Harilaos Florakis entered the communist movement reading “The ABCs of Communism”. In 1929, when the Venizelos government was persecuting communists under a special law, he joined the Vanguard Groups of pupils of OKNE (Communist Youth Federation of Greece). From within the ranks of the mighty Post Telephone Telegraph (PTT) workers’ trade union, he participated in action against the Fourth of August dictatorship and 1940 he fought in the Greek- Italian War.
As an employee of the PTT, Harilaos Florakis took part in trade union activity dynamically and served as Secretary of the Executive Committee of the sectoral trade union federation. In 1941 he became a Party Member and actively participated in its reconstitution. He worked underground and was detained by the police twice. He took part in organizing and guiding the PTT strike in April of 1942, which was the first large strike held during the Occupation and one of the first to be organized in enslaved Europe.
Harilaos Florakis joined the National Liberation Front (EAM) just one day after it was established and fought the occupation forces from within the ranks of the National People’s Liberation Army (ELAS) under his nom de guerre “Captain Yiotis”, reaching the rank of Major. He fought British imperialism and the local oligarchy in the battle of December 1944. He fought British-US imperialism from the ranks of the Democratic Army, reaching the rank of Major General.
In 1949 Harilaos Florakis was elected member of the Central Committee of the CPG. He studied and graduated with honours from the Frunze Military Academy in Moscow.
He was persecuted, imprisoned and exiled for a total of eighteen years, twelve of which sentenced to life imprisonment and six in exile. He was tried and convicted to life imprisonment on many occasions, one of the best known being the “Great Trial” in May 1960 at the Athens Court Martial.
Harilaos Florakis was elected first Secretary of the CC of the Party at the 17th Plenary Session of the Central Committee in December of 1972 and served in that position until 1989. He was decorated with the ELAS Medal of Honour and the Medal of Military Merit of the Democratic Army of Greece. He was also given the Award of the Friendship of the Peoples by the President of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Karl Marx Award by the State Council of the GDR and the Dimitrov Award by the People’s Republic of Bulgaria.
One very special occasion was the awarding of Harilaos Florakis with the Lenin Peace Prize by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in September 1984.
Athens 22nd May 2005
The Press Bureau of the CC of the CPG