Greece. According to
Countryaah, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis furnished his
government on October 24. By exchanging a number of veterans
with a large group of young reformers, he created a
government of 48 ministers - the largest so far under
Socialist Pasok. The government would especially devote
itself to the preparations for the Athens Olympics in 2004.
Greece had earlier received international criticism earlier this
year for not having progressed far enough in the
construction of arenas and when it came to security
MP Vasilios Mikhaloliakos was injured in a bomb attack on
January 21. Mikhaloliakos, who belongs to the conservative
party ND, had just returned from a speech demanding tougher
terrorism. The police made their suspicions against the
terrorist group on November 17.
The presence of 450 peacekeeping Greek NATO soldiers in
Macedonia in August led to intensive diplomatic contacts
between Greece and Macedonia, which has a lengthy dispute over
who has the right to use the name Macedonia.
Following the terrorist attacks against the United States
on September 11, Greece vowed to support the US fight against
terrorism. But when the US began its war in Afghanistan, the
Greeks were by far the most US-critical residents of any
Swedish 17-year-old Calle Jonsson was arrested in July on
the island of Kos accused of knife-cutting a man. According
to his lawyer, the charges were based on testimony that
emerged after pressure from the police.
Twelve British and two Dutch citizens were arrested on
November 8 at a Greek military airport, where they devoted
themselves to watching aircraft, so-called plane mocking.
They were charged with espionage and risking 20 years in
prison, but were released on bail in mid-December.
The civil war caused the bitterness of the occupation to
be further intensified. Those who had cooperated with the
Nazis were now cooperating with the Greek authorities, while
large parts of the resistance movement continued the
struggle. US and England support for the fascists brought
them to victory. When the civil war of 1949 was over, the
prisons were filled and new concentration camps were set up
on the islands. The same year, the country was admitted to
the Council of Europe and in 1952 to NATO. The first
post-Civil War election was held in March 1950, giving the
central Liberals a clear victory over the Conservatives.
General Plastiras was assigned to form a government. He only
sat for a short time and was sentenced because he wanted to
give the political prisoners amnesty. New elections were
held and the right wing under the leadership of General
Papagos came to power. When Papagos died in 1955, the young
and unknown Constantin Karamanlis was assigned to form a new
government. An electoral reform that excluded the small
parties gave the Karamanlis party - the National Radical
Union - a clear majority in the 1956 elections.
Incidentally, the first election in which women had the
right to vote. Karamanlis increased his majority at the
subsequent 1958 election.
Throughout the Karamanlis reign, the country was strongly
affected by the aftermath of the civil war. Opponents of the
government were persecuted and suspected of being "Communist
sympathizers" if left to the center. Arbitrary arrests were
common and the number of political prisoners large. All
attempts at amnesty or release of prisoners were rejected.
During the 1961 elections, extensive pressure and electoral
pressure was needed to secure Karamanlis' re-election. But
the assassination of the pacifist and the Lambrakis MP in
Saloniki led to the fall of Karamanlis. The murder was set
in the scene by senior military officials and police
officers who stood near the Karamanlis government. It
triggered an international protest and Karamanlis advised
the Greek royal house to make a planned trip to England.
In the November 3, 1963 election, the Center Union, led
by George Papandreou, won a clear victory over the
Conservative ERE party. But the Center Union got only 42% of
the vote. In order to avoid speculation that the party had
to rule on the mercy of the radical EDA party, new elections
were held on February 16, 1964. George Papandreou then got a
The death of King Paul brought Prince Constantine to
power. He quickly turned out not to be very democratic and
was completely dominated by his conservative mother, widowed
Frederika. The Royal House and the military regarded the
Central Union government as a threat to their position of
power. When, in July 1965, Papandreou demanded to take over
the post of defense minister in order to clean up the
officer corps, King Constantine refused to agree to it, and
Papandreou resigned. In contravention of the Constitution,
Constantine began to appoint one Prime Minister after
another - without printing new elections. The first two
governments led by Novas and Tsirimokos were short-lived,
the third under Center Union politician Stefan Stefanopoulos
had a somewhat longer life before being felled due to joint
action by right-wing Kanellopoulos and center leader