Friday, 15 June 2012

British press on Greek crisis refers to junta

As Greece continues to make headlines because of the financial and political crisis it is facing, references to the Greek Colonels' regime keep springing up.

The latest articles to mention the dictatorship appeared in the British press yesterday:

In this The Times article, a Greek expert is asked about the possibility of a repeat of the 1967 coup:

Dr Dokos - Photo taken from
One worst-case outcome does look so remote that it is all but excluded by experts: a military coup establishing a dictatorship like the junta that ended in 1974.
Mr Dokos of ELIAMEP has taught in military academies. “If you ask me if there will be any move by the military, I would tell you ‘no’,” he said. “I think they are too democratically indoctrinated for 38 years now.”
 While, in this article that appeared in The Guardian, a 29-year-old enterpreneur explains his decision to return to his native Greece to set up a consultancy:

"At the moment, we don't really see a light at the end of the tunnel," he says. "There should always be a light. Even during the [Nazi] occupation there was a light. During the [colonels'] dictatorship there was a light. Now there's not. That's why I'm staying here. To find a light."

Thursday, 14 June 2012

FT article on geopolitical ramifications of Greek election

In this article the Financial Times Europe editor claims that the stakes in Sunday's Greek election are 'geopolitical rather than financial'.

Both New Democracy and Syriza's flirting with Russia and other non-EU, non-NATO countries, as well as the 'disarray of Greece's foreign ministry', are highlighted.

Tony Barber - taken from
This proposed re-orientation (or 'diversification' if you like) of Greek foreign policy (to the extent it is put forward and to the degree it is possible) is reminiscent of an era, up until now considered long gone, when Greece was outside the EU and was facing isolation from the West.

Tony Barber points to the Greeks' disillusionment with the West by making a reference to the Greek junta:

Although younger Greeks are proud of their modern European identity, half of them today are unemployed and fearful for their future. Older Greeks, meanwhile, remember Nato’s decision to stay on the sidelines when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 – as well as what they recall as US support for the 1967-74 Greek military junta.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

ECHR President warns Britain could end up like Greece under the Colonels

This is an entry from a Guardian blog back in February 2011, drawing a parallel between respect for human rights in Britain today and the Greece of the Colonels.

The entry, entitled 'David Cameron warned Britain could end up like Greece under the colonels', was wrutten by Nicholas Watt and quotes the president of the European Court of Human Rights making the following reference to the Colonels' regime:

"So the president of the European Court of Human Rights found himself under fire tonight from Eurosceptics and pro-Europeans after suggesting that Britain will look like Greece under the rule of the colonels if it refuses to abide by the court's ruling on prisoners.

Photo taken from
Jean-Paul Costa drew the parallel with the colonels' dictatorship of 1967-74 when he was asked by the BBC what would happen if Britain withdrew from the court or refused to abide by its ruling on prisoners. The comments by the Tunisian-born French president came a week after MPs voted overwhelmingly to uphold the blanket ban which prevents prisoners from voting. The court ruled last October that Britain had to lift the ban.

This is what Costa said when he was asked what would happen if Britain abandoned the European Convention on Human Rights or refused to abide by the European Court of Human Rights ruling on prisoners. Costa told Shirin Wheeler, the presenter of the BBC Parliament programme The Record Europe:
I would say that it would be a disaster. A disaster certainly for the Council of Europe and the court but also a disaster for the United Kingdom. I say it respectfully. The UK was one of the states founding the convention, one of the founding states of the Council.
[The] UK has always been a supporter for the court and many times model for the legal systems of other countries. Many systems took advantage through the case law of our court of the legal traditions of Britain.
Wheeler asked why it would be a disaster for Britain. Costa said:
For the image of Britain I will say a simple things and again I hope this will not be considered as not respectful. The only country which denounced the convention actually was Greece in 1967 at the time of dictatorship of the Colonels. Of course after seven years, when democracy was restored in Greece, Greece returned to the Council of Europe and the convention.

I cannot imagine – even if I can understand some irritation that [the] UK which is a great country I admire the UK – could be in the same situation as the Colonels in 1967."