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Post Constantine II and the 1967 Coup
Created by John Eipper on 01/14/23 2:56 PM

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Constantine II and the 1967 Coup (Harry Papasotiriou, Greece, 01/14/23 2:56 pm)

In 1967 Greece's King Konstantine II knew nothing about the coup of the colonels (and one brigadier general) that brought them to power on 21 April. At first, he went along with the new dictatorial regime. Then on 13 December 1967, he led a counter-coup that failed and resulted in his exile. For a few years, he was replaced in Athens by a regent--General Zoitakis--until the monarchy was abolished by the Papadopoulos dictatorship in 1973. It was abolished finally and irrevocably by the December 1974 referendum that was conducted after the restoration of democracy and in which only about 31% of the people voted for the restoration of the monarchy. In only two prefectures out of dozens did the pro-monarchy vote exceed 50%.

The current center-right Mitsotakis government decided that the former king's funeral should be private, even though it will be attended on Monday by royalty from various parts of Europe, as Consoly León pointed out. Some conservatives complained that a former head of state deserved a public funeral. It is too close to the next Greek parliamentary elections, to be held in the next few months, for a center-right government to be seen to be too close to the former monarchy; it could galvanize the left's voters.

JE comments:  The Greek people resoundingly said "no" to the monarchy.  Harry, do you sense this was due to Constantine's personal unpopularity, or a general republican sentiment among the Greek people?  As I write these lines, I realize that I have much to learn about modern Greek history.

Happy 2023 to you, and many thanks for your steadfast support of WAIS over the years!

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