The Metapolitefsi (Greek : Μεταπολίτευση, translated as "polity/regime change") was a period in modern Greek history after the fall of the military junta of 1967–74 that includes the transitional period from the fall of the dictatorship to the 1974 legislative elections and the democratic period immediately after these elections.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
A polity is an identifiable political entity, or any group of people who have a collective identity, who have a capacity to mobilize resources, and are organized by some form of institutionalized hierarchy. A polity can be the government of a country, or country subdivision, or any other group of people organized for governance.
Regime change is the replacement of one government regime with another. Use of the term dates to at least 1925. Regime change may replace all or part of the state's most critical leadership system, administrative apparatus, or bureaucracy.
The long course towards the metapolitefsi began with the disputed liberalisation plan of Georgios Papadopoulos, the head of the military dictatorship. This process was opposed by prominent politicians, such as Panagiotis Kanellopoulos and Stephanos Stephanopoulos. Papadopoulos's plan was halted with the Athens Polytechnic uprising, a massive demonstration of popular rejection of the military junta, and the counter coup staged by Dimitrios Ioannides.
Georgios Papadopoulos was the head of the military coup d'état that took place in Greece on 21 April 1967, and leader of the junta that ruled the country from 1967 to 1974. He held his dictatorial power until 1973, when he was himself overthrown by his co-conspirator Dimitrios Ioannidis.
A military dictatorship, also known as a military junta, is a dictatorship wherein the military exerts complete or substantial control over political authority, and a dictator is often a high ranked military officer.
Panagiotis Kanellopoulos or Panayotis Kanellopoulos was a Greek author, politician and Prime Minister of Greece. He was the Prime Minister of Greece deposed by the Greek military junta of 1967-1974.
Ioannides's failed coup d'état against the elected president of Cyprus, Makarios III, and the subsequent Turkish invasion resulted in the fall of the dictatorship and the appointment of an interim government, known as the "national unity government", led by former prime minister Konstantinos Karamanlis. Karamanlis legalised the Communist Party (KKE) and founded New Democracy, a center-right party which won by a landslide the elections of 1974 (the first elections in Greece after the fall of the junta).
A coup d'état, also known as a putsch (German:), a golpe de estado (Spanish/Portuguese), or simply as a coup, means the overthrow of an existing government; typically, this refers to an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a dictator, the military, or a political faction.
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.
Makarios III was a Greek Cypriot clergyman and politician who served as the Archbishop and Primate of the autocephalous Church of Cyprus (1950–1977) and as the first President of Cyprus (1960–1977). In his three terms as president he survived four assassination attempts and a coup d'état. He is widely regarded by Greek Cypriots as the Father of the Nation or "Ethnarch".
Following a rigged referendum in late July 1973 that ratified the Greek Constitution of 1973 by a large majority, under which the Greek monarchy was abolished and Greece became a presidential republic, Georgios Papadopoulos, the head of the military junta that took power in 1967, became President of Greece.Soon after, in September 1973, Papadopoulos initiated an attempt at metapolitefsi or process of liberalisation, also known as the Markezinis Experiment, aiming to legitimize his government and rehabilitate its image as an international, and especially European, pariah after six years of dictatorship during which he appointed himself to a multitude of high-echelon government positions including Regent, Prime Minister, Minister for Defence, and Minister for the Interior. These excesses had the effect of further undermining his credibility and the seriousness of his regime both at home and abroad. Feeling confident of his grasp on power, he requested the resignation of the 13 military men in his cabinet, dissolved the "revolutionary council" which had ruled Greece since the beginning of the coup, and appointed Spyros Markezinis as Prime Minister of Greece, entrusting him with the task of leading Greece to parliamentary rule. However, under the Greek Constitution of 1973, the presidential powers were far greater than those of the parliament.
A constitutional referendum was held in Greece on 29 July 1973. The amendments would abolish the monarchy and establish a republic. The proposal was approved by 78.6% of voters with a turnout of 75.0%. This initiated the first period of the Metapolitefsi.
The Greek Constitution of 1973 was an amended version of the Greek Constitution of 1968 by Greek dictator Georgios Papadopoulos, with the aim of abolishing the Greek monarchy. Papadopoulos's rewrite of the 1968 constitution replaced the terms "parliamentary monarchy" and "king" with "republican democracy" and "president of Greece". The constitution was never enacted due to Papadopoulos's failed attempt at liberalisation of his regime.
The Greek military junta of 1967–1974, commonly known as the Regime of the Colonels, or in Greece simply The Junta, The Dictatorship and The Seven Years, was a series of far-right military juntas that ruled Greece following the 1967 Greek coup d'état led by a group of colonels on 21 April 1967. The dictatorship ended on 24 July 1974 under the pressure of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The fall of the junta was followed by the Metapolitefsi, and the establishment of the current Third Hellenic Republic.
Under the condition that Papadopoulos would curtail any military interference that could hinder the process, Spyros Markezinis was the only old guard politician prepared to assist in the controversial mission of helping the transition to some form of parliamentary rule.Having secured quasi-dictatorial presidential powers under the new constitution, Papadopoulos not only acquiesced but ordered a wide range of liberalisation measures, including the abolition of martial law, the easing of censorship and the release of all political prisoners. Even the long banned music of Mikis Theodorakis was allowed back in the airwaves. The lifting of censorship, "created a positive political and cultural climate that allowed comfortable margins for the pluralistic circulation of ideas". Scores of new publications were produced that covered a wide ideological spectrum, and the main issues of the era such as the Vietnam War, the Cultural Revolution, the Sino-Soviet split, the death of Che Guevara, and the 1968 student protests in France and Italy were widely covered. This had the effect of bringing a wide segment of the Greek youth "into contact with the most significant works of historical and contemporary Marxist, anarchist, and Bourgeois radical thought".
Martial law is the imposition of direct military control of normal civilian functions by a government, especially in response to a temporary emergency such as invasion or major disaster, or in an occupied territory.
Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by a government, private institutions, and corporations.
A ban is a formal or informal prohibition of something. Bans are formed for the prohibition of activities within a certain political territory. Some see this as a negative act and others see it as maintaining the "status quo". Some bans in commerce are referred to as embargoes. Ban is also used as a verb similar in meaning to "to prohibit".
Ostensibly free elections were announced soon after to be held in 1974, in which political formations including part of the traditional left, but not the Communist Party of Greece (which was banned during the Greek Civil War), were expected to participate.
The Communist Party of Greece is a Marxist–Leninist political party in Greece. Founded in 1918 as the Socialist Labour Party of Greece, it is the oldest political party in modern Greek politics. The party was banned in 1936, but played a significant role in the Greek resistance and the Greek Civil War, and its membership peaked in the mid-1940s. Legalization of the KKE was restored following the fall of the Greek military junta of 1967–1974.
Τhe Greek Civil War was a civil war in Greece fought between the Greek government army and the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) — the military branch of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) from 1946 to 1949. It is often considered the first proxy war of the Cold War, although the Soviet Union avoided sending aid. The fighting resulted in the defeat of the DSE by the Hellenic Army. Founded by the Communist Party of Greece and supported by neighboring and newly founded Socialist States such as Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria, the Democratic Army of Greece included many personnel who had fought as partisans against German, Italian and Bulgarian occupation forces during the Second World War of 1939–1945.
Papadopoulos failed to convince the better part of the old political elite, including politicians such as Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, Stephanos Stephanopoulos, to participate in his liberalisation attempt. Most old guard politicians could not condone the fact that some of their colleagues were to remain excluded from the political process. Moreover, they were opposed to the concentration of powers delegated to the President,and resented having been demonised by Papadopoulos's junta as palaiokommatistes (meaning antiquated party men) during the previous six years. In fact Kanellopoulos, who was Prime Minister of Greece when deposed by the 1967 junta, remained vehemently opposed to any form of cooperation with the regime throughout the dictatorship years.
A transition from one form of government to another, especially from dictatorship to democracy, is typically difficult and fraught with uncertainty and anxiety for the country that undertakes it.Greece's transition was no different as the military, political elites and students sought to affirm their respective positions in society. In particular, the student movement in Greece had been repressed by the dictatorship and student activists were marginalised and suppressed in the name of anti-communism. Early student activism during the dictatorship included the self-immolation in 1970 of Geology student Kostas Georgakis in Genoa, Italy, in protest against the junta. His action served to demonstrate the depth of the resistance and resentment against the regime.
Student activism in Greece was traditionally strong and, unlike in some dictatorships where democracy was a distant dream, had a long and established record of action in democratic times and, more important, it possessed the memory of past democratic action. In addition, the stiff constraints imposed by the rigid and artificial Papadopoulos transition upon the democratic body politic of Greece antagonised not only the politicians but also the intelligentsia, whose primary exponents were the students.
Not unexpectedly, in November 1973 the Athens Polytechnic uprising broke out starting with the usual student protest tactics such as building occupations and radio broadcasts. The student uprising is believed to have been spontaneous, and not orchestrated by any particular political group in Greece. In fact, a smaller uprising had preceded it two weeks earlier at the Athens Law School and it was still active even as events at the Polytechnic were unfolding.
Unlike a previous strike in the Athens law school in February 1973, prior to their liberalisation attempt, where the regime negotiated at length with the students and bloodshed was avoided, in November 1973 the regime made no attempt to negotiate with the students.At the same time the students taking part in the smaller law school demonstration moved into the Polytechnic, as the events there gathered momentum.
In normal (democratic) times, such a protest might have been defused using tactics based on usual historical precedents such as negotiations with student leaders, and failing that, resorting to using normal crowd control methods followed by more negotiations, as the regime had done with the law students some weeks before.
However, this student protest happened in the middle of the uncertain political experiment of transition from dictatorship to democracy.Given that the main engineer of the transition, Papadopoulos, did not have much experience in democratic transitions, his liberalisation plan was derailed as students, and, later, workers, used the liberalisation to start their uprising, which forced the Papadopoulos regime to clamp-down hard on the protests, a move that discredited the very liberalisation Papadopoulos was trying to implement.
In failing to negotiate, the junta made martyrs out of the Polytechnic students. This in turn gave the student protest momentum and it eventually evolved into a near-universal demonstration against the dictatorship. At that point, the transitional government panicked,sending a tank crashing through the gates of the Athens Polytechnic. Soon after that, Markezinis himself had the humiliating task of requesting Papadopoulos to re-impose martial law. The student protests were the first sign that Papadopoulos's attempt at "liberalisation" in Greece had begun to fail.
The inherent contradictions of the coup, carefully suppressed during the dictatorship, became much more visible during the regime's attempt at democratisation.In its strident anti-communism, the junta was opposed by large sections of Greek society which wished to overcome the trauma of the Greek Civil War. Papadopoulos had to be divisive and anti-communist from the beginning because otherwise his coup d'état would not have made sense and now his attempt at metapolitefsi was being derailed, partially, because of that.
The events at Athens Polytechnic unfolded precisely as the dictatorship's more staunch members had hoped.Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannides, leader of a junta within the junta, was disdainful of Papadopoulos, his perceived move to democracy, and his pursuit of a foreign policy more independent of the United States. The conditions for Papadopoulos's overthrow by Ioannides became easier because Papadopoulos would not believe Markezinis and others in his circle when warned about Ioannides's plans to overthrow him. In fact Papadopoulos's reply to Markezinis was: "Mimis [nickname for Dimitrios, Ioannides's first name] is an "Arsakeiás", he would never do something like that". "Arsakeiás", in Greek, is a female student of the Arsakeio, a strict all-female school in Athens in Papadopoulos's time, and a metaphor for a "quiet, shy girl".
Ioannides, a disaffected hardliner and a man with an established anti-democratic record,seized the opportunity. On 25 November 1973 he used the uprising as a pretext to stage a counter coup that overthrew Papadopoulos and put an abrupt end to Markezinis's attempt at transition to democratic rule. In fact, his coup was planned months prior to the events at the Polytechnic.
Ioannides's involvement in inciting unit commanders of the security forces to commit criminal acts during the Athens Polytechnic uprising, so that he could facilitate his upcoming coup, was noted in the indictment presented to the court by the prosecutor during the junta trials and in his subsequent conviction in the Polytechneion trial where he was found to have been morally responsible for the events.
During the Ioannides coup the radio broadcasts, following the now familiar coup in progress scenario featuring martial music interspersed with military orders and curfew announcements, kept repeating that the army was taking back the reins of power in order to save the principles of the 1967 revolution and that the overthrow of the Papadopoulos-Markezinis government was supported by the army, navy and air force.
At the same time they announced that the new coup was a "continuation of the revolution of 1967" and accused Papadopoulos with "straying from the ideals of the 1967 revolution" and "pushing the country towards parliamentary rule too quickly".
Ioannides proceeded to arrest Markezinis and Papadopoulos, cancelled the elections that were planned for 1974, reinstated martial law, and appointed a puppet government headed by old junta member General Phaedon Gizikis as the new president, and civilian, and old Papadopoulos junta cabinet member, Adamantios Androutsopoulos as the prime minister.
Unlike Papadopoulos, Ioannides was not particularly concerned with legal or democratic processes. He was prepared for a dictatorship of thirty or more years.Being a more orthodox dictator and thinking in simpler terms than Papadopoulos, he solved the dilemma on how to achieve a democratic transition by dropping the plan completely.
Prior to seizing power, Ioannides preferred to work in the background and never held any formal office in the junta government. Reflecting his penchant for secrecy, the press described him as the invisible dictator.Now he ruled Greece from the shadows, and was the de facto leader of a puppet regime composed by members some of whom were rounded up by ESA soldiers in roving jeeps to serve and others that were simply chosen by mistake. Adamantios Androutsopoulos, the new junta prime minister, was described as a political non-entity by the New York Times. Despite its doubtful origins, the new junta pursued an aggressive internal crackdown and an expansionist foreign policy.
At his frequent press conferences during his rule, Papadopoulos often used the patient in a cast analogy to describe his assault on the body politic of Greece. He usually answered questions on the topic of democratic transition from the press by referring to the patient analogy in a humorous and jovial manner.He used to say that he put the patient (Greece) in a cast ("ασθενή στον γύψο" literally: patient in gypsum) so that he could fix her skeletal (implying political) structure. Typically the "doctor" had to operate on the "patient" by putting restraints on the "patient", tying him on a surgical bed to perform the "operation" so that the life of the "patient" would not be "endangered" during the operation. This analogy aside, Papadopoulos at least indicated his intention of ending military rule once the political system had recovered to his satisfaction and that the treatment would progress on some legal and political basis.
In fact Papadopoulos had indicated as early as 1968 that he was eager for a reform process and even tried to contact Markezinis at the time. He then repeatedly attempted to initiate reforms in 1969 and 1970, only to be thwarted by the hardliners including Ioannides. In fact subsequent to his 1970 failed attempt at reform, he threatened to resign and was dissuaded only after the hardliners renewed their personal allegiance to him.
In contrast, Ioannides did not talk to the press and did not offer any analogies for his proposed treatment. But through his actions one can determine that the cast analogy did not serve his purposes any longer. Ioannides therefore abandoned the patient in a cast analogy that Papadopoulos offered in order to make a political statement that no democratic transition would take place during his tenure in power.This also indicated that Ioannides was not concerned about legal formalities. He was a "ruthless dictator who toppled the [Papadopoulos] junta for being too liberal". Ioannidis was considered a "purist and a moralist, a type of Greek Gaddafi". At the time, Time magazine had described Ioannides as "a rigid, puritanical xenophobe – he has never been outside Greece or Cyprus – who might try to turn Greece into a European equivalent of Muammar Gaddafi's Libya."
He who enters here exits friend or cripple.— ESA operating doctrine
The Ioannides junta introduced repressive measures which have been described as among the harshest ever imposed in Greece.Ioannides's main instrument of terror, was the dreaded interrogators of the Greek Military Police (EAT/ESA, Greek: ΕΑΤ/ΕΣΑ: Ειδικόν Ανακριτικόν Τμήμα Ελληνικής Στρατιωτικής Αστυνομίας translated as: Special Interrogation Section of the Greek Military Police). Using EAT/ESA offices and prison cells as torture chambers he launched an all out assault on Greek civil society. The EAT/ESA torture centre in Athens has been described as the "place that made Greece tremble".
The EAT/ESA became the regime's "Praetorian Guard" which could arrest anyone, even superior officers, if it suspected any anti-"Revolution" activity.One often repeated saying at EAT/ESA was: "Any ESA man is equal to a major in the army". Ironically it was Papadopoulos who in 1969 signed a law which gave "extraordinary legal powers" to ESA, only to have them used against him in 1973 during Ioannides's coup.
Ioannides's junta moved quickly to stifle any dissent and re-instituted repressive measures such as censorship, expulsions, arbitrary detentions and torture, performing these with far greater rigour than the Papadopoulos regime.Gone was the usual anti-communist pretext. Artists, painters, intellectuals who had publicly expressed anti-junta sentiments or created a work that criticised the junta, were automatically dispatched to the nearest neighbourhood EAT/ESA centre. The function of the EAT/ESA torture centers was to intimidate the dissidents and anyone thinking of becoming a dissident. Ioannides's government possessed all the hallmarks of a police state.
People were held incommunicado and without EAT/ESA notifying anyone for weeks or months on end and were only allowed limited communication thereafter with their families through the Greek Red Cross, a function that it normally performs in wartime and for enemy prisoners.Loud music blared from the detention centres in order to suppress the screams of the victims."
Inside the ESA chambers the prisoners were subjected to physical and psychological torture.Torture techniques included sleep deprivation, starvation, beatings, and psychological blackmail involving family members. The intensity of violence, depending on the victim, was such that brain injuries could result after the torture sessions. Greek Army Major Spyros Moustaklis, for example, was involved in the Velos mutiny and was left brain damaged, partially paralyzed and unable to speak for the rest of his life after 47 days of torture.
However, according to Ioannides, the new junta was successful. Unlike the Papadopoulos regime which at least tried to take the patient out of the cast, the Ioannides junta caused the vital signs of the Greek body politic to become barely perceptible.
Having successfully terrorised the population, the "junta nova" tried to realise its foreign policy ambitions by launching a military coup against President Makarios III of Cyprus. Gizikis, as usual, obliged by issuing the order for the coup on Ioannides's behalf.
Makarios was at the time both Archbishop and President of Cyprus. He was deposed by military coup on 15 July 1974 and replaced by Nikos Sampson. However the coup backfired as Turkey reacted with Operation Atilla on 20 July; the Turkish invasion of Cyprus had begun.
This military and political disaster for Greece and Cyprus led to thousands of dead and hundreds of thousands of Greek-Cypriot refugees, deeply traumatised the Greek body politic for the long term and was the final straw for Ioannides who had already instigated or participated in three coups in seven years — a record in modern Greek history — with catastrophic results for both countries.
Immediately after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus the dictators, not expecting such a disastrous outcome, finally decided that Ioannides's approach was catastrophic for the interests of the country. The complete rationale for their subsequent actions, even to this day, is not known. Analysis of their motives can improve with time as new details come to the fore but it appears that the junta members realised that the Androutsopoulos government could not deal effectively with the dual crises of the Cyprus conflict and the economy.Androutsopoulos, described as a political non-entity, did not have the clout to effectively negotiate an honourable end to the Cyprus crisis. It is reported that President Gizikis finally realised the need for a strong government which could effectively negotiate an end to the Cyprus conflict.
In the early hours of the Cyprus crisis, indications of panic and indecision in the junta government were manifestly evident from the reaction of the Greek public as they raided supermarkets and grocery stores all over Greece, fearing an all out war with Turkey and sensing the inability of the junta to govern, as well as the anxious attempts of the junta members to communicate with and surrender power to the very same members of the democratic Establishment of Greece that they had demonised and maligned as palaiokommatistes (meaning old party system men) throughout the dictatorship.
They had also worked hard during their seven years in power to create a New Greece (Νέα Ελλάδα) under the slogan of Ellas Ellinon Christianon (translated as Greece of the Christian Greeks)completely devoid of any link with the old party system and its politicians. Now they were ready to relinquish this vision to that same old guard they had maligned as obsolete old party system men.
This paradox is at the centre of the phenomenon known as Metapolitefsi. There are two possible considerations which could assist in resolving this paradox. First, due to the risk of imminent war with Turkey there was no room for negotiations during the transition from military to political rule. Second reason was that since the military failed in the one area they were supposed to be competent by showing inadequate organisation during war preparations and ultimately failing to protect Cyprus from the invasion, they also lost what remained of their political clout and thus they were unable to resist the demands of the politicians.The second paradox was Karamanlis's slow response in cleansing the military from the junta elements. Although the army was politically very weak at the time, Karamalis proceeded with great caution in eliminating junta supporters still remaining within the military. The second paradox can be explained by the fact that at the time, due to the Cyprus crisis, Karamanlis did not want to proceed with measures that would lower the morale of the army, and thus weaken the military, at a time of crisis with Turkey.
Greece is the birthplace of the theatre as well as democracy. In ancient theatrical plays every time the plot got too tangled for a rational resolution, catharsis (Greek for cleansing i.e. resolution as in cleaning up the mess) came in the form of a god (Deus ex machina (translated from Latin as God from the machine)), that descended from above with the aid of mechanical devices such as levers, cranes and pulleys i.e. from a machine, and dispensed resolution to even the most complex of predicaments.
Various media agencies represented the post-invasion plot of the Greek political scene in 1974 as an ancient drama.
It also came with its own Deus ex machina (Greek: Από μηχανής Θεός).The machine this time was more modern, it was a jet and there was no actor but a well trusted and famous politician. The function however was the same: Catharsis.
Following the Cyprus invasion by the Turks, the dictators ultimately abandoned Ioannides and his policies. On 23 July 1974, President Gizikis called a meeting of old guard politicians, including Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, Spyros Markezinis, Stephanos Stephanopoulos, Evangelos Averoff and others. The heads of the armed forces also participated in the meeting. The agenda was to appoint a national unity government with the mandate to lead the country to elections and at the same time to honourably extricate Greece from an armed confrontation with Turkey.Gizikis proposed, at first, that the key ministries of Defence, Public Order, and the Interior be controlled by the military — but this idea was summarily rejected.
Former Prime Minister Panagiotis Kanellopoulos was originally suggested as the head of the new interim government. He was the legitimate Prime Minister originally deposed by the dictatorship and a distinguished veteran politician who had repeatedly criticised Papadopoulos and his successor. Raging battles were still taking place in Cyprus' north and Greece's border with Turkey in Thrace was tense when Greeks took to the streets in all the major cities, celebrating the junta's decision to relinquish power before the war in Cyprus could spill all over the Aegean.But talks in Athens were going nowhere with Gizikis's offer to Panayiotis Kanellopoulos to form a government.
Nonetheless, after all the other politicians departed without reaching a decision, Evangelos Averoff remained in the meeting room. He telephoned Karamanlis in Paris to appraise him of the developments and urge him to return to Greece, and, following the call, further engaged Gizikis.He insisted that Constantine Karamanlis, prime minister of Greece from 1955 to 1963, was the only political personality who could lead a successful transition government, taking into consideration the new circumstances and dangers both inside and outside the country. Gizikis and the heads of the armed forces initially expressed reservations, but they finally became convinced by Averoff's arguments. Admiral Arapakis was the first, among the participating military leaders, to express his support for Karamanlis. After Averoff's decisive intervention, Gizikis phoned Karamanlis at his Paris apartment and begged him to return. Karamanlis initially hesitated but Gizikis pledged to him that the military would no longer interfere in the political affairs of Greece. Other junta members joined Gizikis in his pledge.
Throughout his stay in France, Karamanlis was a thorn at the side of the junta because he possessed the credibility and popularity they lacked both in Greece and abroad and he also criticised them often.Now he was called to end his self-imposed exile and restore Democracy to the place that originally created it.
Upon news of his impending arrival cheering Athenian crowds took to the streets chanting: "Ερχεται! Ερχεται!" "Here he comes! Here he comes!"Similar celebrations broke out all over Greece. Athenians in the tens of thousands also went to the airport to greet him.
On 23 July 1974 Karamanlis returned to Athens on the French President's Mystère 20 jet made available to him by President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, a close personal friend.At 4 a.m. on 24 July 1974, Karamanlis was sworn-in as Prime Minister of Greece by Archbishop Seraphim of Athens, with Gizikis attending the ceremony. Subsequently, Gizikis remained temporarily in power for legal continuity reasons.
Despite being faced with an inherently unstable and dangerous political situation, which forced him to sleep aboard a yacht watched over by a naval destroyer for several weeks after his return, Karamanlis moved swiftly to defuse the tension between Greece and Turkey, which came on the brink of war over the Cyprus crisis, and begin the process of transition from military rule to a pluralist democracy.
The events that led to metapolitefsi and the traditional weaknesses of the Greek political and social institutions were not conducive to a comprehensive strategy towards democracy.The civil society was not prepared to articulate a transition strategy "from below" and the groups of resistance were fragmented, despite their political glamor. Therefore the transition process became a "from above" project, whose weight had to fall on the shoulders of Karamanlis.
Karamanlis first legalised the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) that was constantly demonised by the junta, using this political move as a differentiator between the junta rigidity on the matter that betrayed its totalitarianism and his own realpolitik approach honed by years of practicing democracy. The legalization of the Communist Party was also meant as a gesture of political inclusionism and rapprochement.At the same time Karamanlis also freed all political prisoners and pardoned all political crimes against the junta. This approach was warmly received by the people, long weary of junta divisive polemics. Following through with his reconciliation theme he also adopted a measured approach to removing collaborators and appointees of the dictatorship from the positions they held in government bureaucracy, and, wanting to officially inaugurate the new democratic era in Greek politics as soon as possible, declared that elections would be held in November 1974, a mere four months after the collapse of the Régime of the Colonels. In addition, Karamanlis wanted to differentiate between the far-right, which was discredited by its association with the junta, and the legitimate political right. The trials of the junta and the subsequent severe sentences on the principal junta members were a strong sign that the parliamentary right disapproved of power usurpation by using extra-constitutional methods. At the same time, Karamanlis withdrew from the military portion of NATO and raised questions about the military bases of the United States in Greece, sending a strong signal that Greece's hitherto strongly pro-Western-alliance orientation should not be assumed as a given any longer, and to indicate Greece's displeasure with the inaction of its allies during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Karamanlis also signaled the weakening of Greece's dependence on the US by prioritising the ascension of Greece to the European Union, which was frozen during the junta years, and succeeding. His slogan during his campaign to promote Greece's membership in the European Union was "Greece belongs to the West".
The relatively short duration of the Greek dictatorship compared to its Spanish and Portuguese counterparts which had lasted for decades, facilitated a quick transition to democratic rule.The Cyprus disaster also empowered the democratic forces, including the democratic officers in the Greek army who contributed to the democratisation of the armed forces post-metapolitefsi. Karamanlis's government nullified the 1968 junta constitution and replaced it with the basic law of 1952 modified with the provision that the appointment of military leaders in strategic positions was to be carried-out by civilian rule. In the legislative election of November 1974, Karamanlis with his newly formed conservative party, not coincidentally named New Democracy (Νέα Δημοκρατία, transliterated in English as Nea Demokratia) obtained a massive parliamentary majority and was elected Prime Minister. The elections were soon followed by the 1974 plebiscite on the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of the Third Hellenic Republic.
In January 1975 the junta members were formally arrested and in early August of the same year the government of Konstantinos Karamanlis brought charges of high treason and mutiny against Georgios Papadopoulos and nineteen other co-conspirators of the military junta.The mass trial, described as "Greece's Nuremberg", was staged at the Korydallos Prison under heavy security and was televised. One thousand soldiers armed with submachine guns provided security. The roads leading to the jail were patrolled by tanks. Papadopoulos and Ioannides were sentenced to death for high treason. These sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment by the Karamanlis government. This trial was followed by a second trial which centered around the events of the Athens Polytechnic uprising.
A plan to grant amnesty to the junta principals by the Konstantinos Mitsotakis government in 1990 was cancelled after protests from conservatives, socialists and communists.Papadopoulos died in hospital in 1999 after being transferred from Korydallos while Ioannides remained incarcerated until his death in 2010.
The adoption of the Constitution of 1975 by the newly elected Hellenic Parliament solemnised the new era of democratic governance. The parliamentary committee that proposed the draft constitution was presided by Constantine Tsatsos, an Academician, former minister and close friend of Karamanlis, who served as the first elected President of Greece (after metapolitefsi) from 1975 to 1980.
Karamanlis's New Democracy went on to comfortably win the first post-junta free elections in 1974 with 220 seat out of 300, with Centre Union gaining 60 seats, Andreas Papandreou's PASOK 12, while the United Left entered parliament with 8 seats.Karamanlis's big win in 1974 demonstrated a great change in Greek politics, without giving cause for action to the relatively inactive, but still dangerous junta elements. Three years later, with the 1974 crisis farther in the background, New Democracy's comfortable margin was reduced in the 1977 Greek legislative election, due to an increasing shift in Greek politics toward the left. Karamanlis continued to serve as Prime Minister until 10 May 1980, when he succeeded Tsatsos as President of Greece and then cohabited for four years (1981–1985) with his fierce political opponent and leader of PASOK, the Greek socialist party, prime minister Andreas Papandreou.
The political and social views expounded by PASOK were in antithesis to the center-right policies followed by the conservative government of ND (1974–1981). According to Ino Afentouli, the political expression of the metapolitefsi, namely the coming to power of a conservative leader such as Karamanlis, did not correspond to the changes which had in the meantime befallen Greek society. Thereby, this current often opposed ND's governments, disdained the old centrist political elite expressed by Center Union – New Forces (and its leader Georgios Mavros) and prompted the rise to power of PASOK and Papandreou in the elections of 1981.Since 1974 Papandreou challenged Karamanlis's choices and objected to his dominant role in defining post-1974 democracy, while other political forces of the opposition, such as Center Union – New Forces and EDA occasionally offered him an inconsistent support, especially during 1974–1977.
In the elections of 1981 Papandreou used as slogan the catchword change (Greek: αλλαγή). Some analysts, including Afentouli, regard PASOK's victory under Papandreou as a culmination of the metapolitefsi of 1974, given that the fall of the junta had not been accompanied by the rise of new political powers, but rather by the resumption of power by the old guard politicians.
However Karamanlis is acknowledged for his successful restoration of Democracy and the repair of the two great national schisms by first legalising the communist party and by establishing the system of presidential democracy in Greece.His successful prosecution of the junta during the junta trials and the heavy sentences imposed on the junta principals also sent a message to the army that the era of immunity from constitutional transgressions by the military was over. Karamanlis's policy of European integration is also acknowledged to have ended the paternalistic relation between Greece and the United States.
Greek students were being repressed by the military dictatorship. The culmination of repression was marked by the November .
Ioannidis gilt als Purist und Moralist, eine Art griechischer Khadafi
He was followed by Brigadier General Dimitrios Ioannidis of the dreaded secret police, who moved even more brutally against the regime's opponents.
He admits as much himself, by noting that the Greek dictator Dimitrios Ioannides, head of the secret police, was ... His police state had been expelled from the Council of Europe and blocked from joining the EEC, and it was largely the ...
He had been replaced by an even more repressive leader, Ioannides, after the student riots.
The process reached a critical threshold in 1974 when a botched nationalist coup instigated by the Greek junta against the Cypriot government was used as a pretext by Turkey to invade and occupy the northern part of the island. Greece and ...
La formation du gouvernement civil a été acceptée et le nom de C. Karamanlis a été proposé pour le poste de Premier ministre. Karamanlis, qui ... Pour utiliser un terme de la tragédie grecque, il était le deus ex machina. Arrivé en Grèce le 24, il a formé un gouvernement de coalition sans la participation du PC.
Karamanlis's friends thought the reason was that it was widely read in the armed forces. Although the proprietor was informed ... that there was only one possible candidate for the role of deus ex machina. Pressure was steadily increased on ...
Both would have been unthinkable without the charismatic authority and consummate statesmanship of Konstantinos Karamanlis, who returned to Greece in July 1974 as the providential deus ex machina amidst the national crisis provoked by ...
... Constantine Karamanlis had emerged, like a 'deus ex machina as the Colonels' dictatorship disintegrated under the burden of its own incompetence in July 1974, as the one politician capable not only of returning the military to the barracks ...
Karamanlis returned to Greece from his French exile for the first time in eleven years like some deus ex machina, and amid scenes of wild jubilation was sworn ...
Within a matter of months of his return to Greece like some deus ex machina, Karamanlis had both legitimised his power through an impressive electoral victory ...
prendentemente rápida transición habría sido impensable sin la autoridad carismática y las cualidades de estadista consumado de Konstantinos Karamanlis, que regresó a Grecia en julio de 1974 como un deus ex machina providencial en ...
Eski tiyatro oyunlarındaki «deus ex machina» gibi gökten inen bir tanrının iradesini göstermesiyle, Türkiye açısından Kıbrıs davası halledilir sorun haline gelmişti. ... Karamanlis' in Atina'ya dönmesiyle, Yunanistan tekrar demokrasiye kavuştu.
… island and its subsequent division, the military regime collapsed in 1974. Konstantinos Karamanlis returned from French exile and assumed governmental duties. The democratic form of government was re-established. 'Catharsis …
the state continued in the hands of the old order.82 When the Karamanlis government proved itself unable to deliver its promise of ... Chamcncs Elpides, Olethrics Parachorisseis' [Catharsis-Dejuntification-DemixTatization: Lost Opportunities, ...
Karamanlis was presented by the party, with considerable justification, as the saviour of the nation, New Democracy's main election ... The trials had been televised and provided a form of catharsis for the much- troubled Greek political soul.
. la classe politique, Konstantin Karamanlis, jusqu'alors exilé à Paris. un référendum est aussitôt organisé pour décider si la ... entreprend le processus de catharsis (épuration) qui aboutit à la poursuite judiciaire de plusieurs personnalités du ...
Constantine II reigned as the King of Greece, from 1964 until the abolition of the monarchy in 1973.
Konstantinos G. Karamanlis, commonly anglicised to Constantine Karamanlis or just Caramanlis, was a four-time Prime Minister and twice President of the Third Hellenic Republic, and a towering figure of Greek politics, whose political career spanned much of the latter half of the 20th century.
Andreas Georgios Papandreou was a Greek economist, politician and a dominant figure in Greek politics, known for founding the political party PASOK, which he led from 1974 to 1996. He served three terms as prime minister of Greece, and is frequently regarded as one of the greatest modern Prime Ministers of the country.
The President of the Hellenic Republic, colloquially referred to in English as the President of Greece, is the head of state of Greece. The President is elected by the Hellenic Parliament; the role has been mainly ceremonial since the 1986 constitutional reform. The office was formally established by the Constitution of Greece in 1975, but has antecedents in the Second Hellenic Republic of 1924–1935 and the republic established by the Greek military junta in 1973–1974. The incumbent, since 2015, is Prokopis Pavlopoulos, serving his first term in office.
Adamantios Androutsopoulos was a lawyer and professor. He held various ministerial posts under the Greek military junta of 1967–1974 and was finally appointed 168th Prime Minister of Greece from 1973 to 1974 by junta strongman Dimitrios Ioannides.
Spyridon Markezinis or Markesinis was a Greek politician, longtime member of the Hellenic Parliament, and briefly the Prime Minister of Greece during the aborted attempt at democratization of the Greek military regime in 1973.
Phaedon Gizikis was a Greek army general, and the second and last President of Greece under The Junta, from 1973 to 1974.
Diomidis Komninos, a Cypriot Greek high school student, was the first casualty of the Athens Polytechnic uprising. He was shot opposite the main gate of the Polytechnic.
Dimitrios Ioannidis, also known as Dimitris Ioannidis, was a Greek military officer and one of the leading figures in the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. Ioannidis was considered a "purist and a moralist, a type of Greek Gaddafi". At the time of the junta, Time magazine had described Ioannides as "a rigid, puritanical xenophobe – he has never been outside Greece or Cyprus – who might try to turn Greece into a European equivalent of Muammar Gaddafi's Libya."
The history of the Hellenic Republic constitutes three discrete republican periods in the modern history of Greece: from 1822 until 1832; from 1924 until 1935; and from 1974 through to the present. See also the constitutional history of Greece.
The Greek Military Police, generally known in Greek by the acronym ESA, was the military police branch of the Greek Army in the years 1951–1974. It developed into a powerful paramilitary organization and a stronghold of right-wing, conservative Army officers. It became the main security and intelligence organization during the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. After the fall of the junta and the restoration of democracy in 1974, it was disbanded because of its brutal practices, which included the widespread use of torture.
Stylianos Pattakos was a Greek military officer. Pattakos was one of the principals of the Greek military junta of 1967–1974 that overthrew the government of Panagiotis Kanellopoulos in a coup d'état on 21 April 1967.
Major Spyros Moustaklis was an officer of the Greek Army. During the military junta years in Greece, he actively opposed the dictatorship and suffered permanent damage as the result of torture, making him a symbol of the anti-junta resistance.
The Greek Junta Trials were the trials involving members of the military junta that ruled Greece from 21 April 1967 to 23 July 1974. These trials involved the instigators of the coup as well as other junta members of various ranks who took part in the events of the Athens Polytechnic uprising and in the torture of citizens.
The Athens Polytechnic uprising occurred in November 1973 as a massive student demonstration of popular rejection of the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. The uprising began on 14 November 1973, escalated to an open anti-junta revolt, and ended in bloodshed in the early morning of 17 November after a series of events starting with a tank crashing through the gates of the Polytechnic.