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"Colonels' regime in Greece

21 1967 April, the military coup in Greece was carried out, which resulted in a regime of "black colonels", to hold out until July 23 1974 years.

The coming to power of the military in Greece was the result of many years of conflict left and right-wing political forces, whose roots go back to 1920-ies and which did not stop even during the German occupation in 1941-1944 years. Contributed to the success of the rebel officers and lasted in the country for two years, a constitutional crisis known as the "Apostasy-1965".

Then the young Korol Konstantin II of, who ascended the throne after the death of his father King Paul in 1965 year, disagrees with the limitation of his powers, he dismissed only came to power a reformist government Georgiosa Papandreu.

Constant conflict between King and Parliament led to frequent changes in the Cabinet, and this led to instability in the society. At the beginning of the year 1967 the development of the political crisis in Greece has reached extreme severity. The government was unable to cope with the growing discontent and opposition forces were unable to decisively turn of events in the right direction.

In this situation, the balance of power is in favor of the parties of the democratic way of development. Fearing their victory in the parliamentary elections scheduled for May 28 1967 years, the royal court and those who finance it, preparing to enter the military dictatorship with the help of right-wing generals, who have expressed hesitation with regard to the date of the coup. To take advantage of a group of Greek officers, middle managers, led by Colonels Georgiosom Papadopulosom and Nikolaos Makarezos and General Stylianos Pattakos.

At dawn 21 April 1967 year in the Greek capital were introduced about 100 tanks, which occupied the most important points of urban infrastructure, starting with the Ministry of Defense. At the same time, there were pinpoint arrests of leading oppositionists, as well as some simple citizens, who were found to have sympathy for the left. One of the first to be arrested was the commander-in-chief of the Greek army, who knew about the conspirators. In fact, they persuaded him to join them, and the commander-in-chief issued an order to launch an action plan ("Prometheus Plan"), which was drafted long before these events in the event of a communist threat.

The presence of the order, signed by the commander in chief, allowed the conspirators to control virtually all of the Greek army.

By the next morning all of Greece was in the hands of the colonels. All leading politicians, including the prime minister, were arrested and placed in solitary confinement.

The man with the Greek flag in Syntagma Square in Athens

Military succeeded without too much trouble to take over as Greek residents are tired of the constant political crises and associated with them hopes for stability.

The military who made the coup established the regime of an open military dictatorship. On the black color of uniforms and on the military rank of leaders, he was called the dictatorship of the "black colonels". The junta introduced a state of emergency in the country, effectively liquidated the institutions of democracy, banned strikes, assembled, established strict censorship, disbanded all political parties and a number of public organizations. State officials were appointed from the military, thousands of politicians were thrown into prison, it was forbidden to listen to rock musicians, support atheism and socialism.

Greek King Constantine initially recognized the new government, but soon realized that he was only a puppet in the hands of a formidable enemy and began to prepare a counter coup, relying on the strength of the Navy and Air Force of Greece. The uprising began in December 13 1967 in the port of Kavala, but was crushed. As a result, high-ranking officers loyal to the monarch, were arrested, and the king himself with his family fled to Italy.

So as not to lead to a new wave of protests, the military government refused to immediate removal from power of the king, and demonstrated commitment to the monarchy. In December 1967, the Prime Minister of Greece became the head of the military junta, Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos, who in 1972, in the absence of the king was appointed regent.

Papadopoulos government has drafted a new constitution, designed to legitimize the military dictatorship. In a referendum in September 1968, the new constitution has been approved, but the parliament has not been convened, and the majority of the electoral promises concerning guarantees and of civil liberties have not been fulfilled.

Dictator Papadopoulos gradually reduce the stiffness of his regime by conducting light "democratization." June 1 1973, the monarchy was abolished. Adopted in July constitutional amendments transformed Greece into a "presidential parliamentary republic". Papadopoulos, who became president of the republic, abolished the state of emergency, release political prisoners and formed a cabinet exclusively of civilians.

Short period of easing regime came to an end in November 1973, when it was brutally suppressed by the troops of anti-government protests of students of the Polytechnic Institute in Athens.

Taking advantage of this, a group of senior officers of the armed forces under the leadership of Dimitrios Ioannidis, who led the military police, on November 25 1973 years made a new coup and ousted Papadopoulos.

View of the city of Athens

It came to power representatives of the "hard" wing of the military junta, who opposed any liberalization of the regime, for the preservation of the country's military rule. He was appointed President of the General phaedon gizikis. Again a state of emergency was introduced. Ioannidis regime differed repression against those who disagree with the political course of "black colonels".

One of the tasks that have set themselves radicals, was the accession of Cyprus to Greece. Summer 1974, the right in Greece junta carried out a coup in Cyprus. This prompted Turkey, which along with Britain and Greece to guarantee the independence of the island, to invade the island under the pretext of protecting the Turkish Cypriot minority.

The Greek Government was forced to go to the mobilization. The presence of the citizens of weapons allowed the Greek officers, committed to democracy, to demand from the mode of transmission power to a civilian leadership.

July 23 1974, under the threat of approaching the Athens junta Army Corps was forced to transfer the administration of the state to a civilian government.

August 1 1974 years has been reintroduced in the current constitution of the year 1952, restored civil rights and civilian control over the army. In September 1974 years has been restored free activity of political parties. In October, it was canceled a state of emergency. 17 November last parliamentary elections. 8 December referendum on the restoration of the monarchy. The country's population voted in favor of the republican system, Korol Konstantin was dethroned.

In June, a new constitution, Greece was declared a parliamentary republic was adopted 1975 years.

The instigators of the coup of the year 1967 appeared before the court in the summer of 1975 years. They were sentenced to death for treason. Subsequently, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

The leaders of the junta and Stylianos Pattakos Nikolaos Makarezos been released from prison for health reasons in the year 1990, after expressed remorse for his actions. Makarezos 2009 died in at the age of 90 years and Pattakos - in 2016 104 year on year life.

The main junta leader Georgios Papadopoulos from the amnesty provided remorse refused. He died of cancer at the age of 1999 80 years.

Dimitrios Ioannidis, who first asked for amnesty in the 2008 33, after years in prison, but refused to plead guilty to the crimes for which he was convicted, the authorities agreed to release. In the 2010, he died at the age of 87 years in one of Athens hospital where he was taken from prison Korydallos, where he was serving a life sentence.

A source: RIA News

Tags: Greece, Politics, History, Cyprus

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