The “New” Politics in Greece
On the afternoon of April 20, 1967, in the Old Psychico section of Athens, Andreas Papandreou, a deputy in the Greek Parliament and former minister in the Center Union government of 1964-65, was entertaining a member of the the central committee of the Danish Social-Democratic Party. Greek elections had been scheduled for May 28 and, in anticipation of a major Center Union victory, part of the discussion that afternoon concerned the implementation of an agreement for the training of Center Union politicians in Denmark. Later in the evening, Andreas Papandreou decided to sleep in his own home. It was one of the few times in several months that he had risked the chance since it was well known that the King and his American advisers were very disturbed over the prospects of a Center Union victory in the forthcoming elections and that a military coup by the King’s followers was a distinct possibility.
At 2:30 A.M. on Friday, April 21, a contingent of the American-equipped Greek army surrounded Papandreou’s house. A few shots were fired into the air. At the same time, the sound of broken glass could be heard as the front door was smashed in. The immediate reaction of everyone in the house was that a gang of terrorists was breaking in to assassinate Andreas. With the help of his fourteen-year-old son, Papandreou was boosted onto the roof from an outside balcony on the second floor.
Eight soldiers with machine guns, pistols, and rifles with fixed bayonets charged into the bedroom of Papandreou’s twelve-year-old daughter and overturned the bed with her in it. The officers and the men under their command were very unsure of themselves and in a state of extreme nervousness. They ran around wildly, pulling everyone out of bed, shouting and screaming, “Where is Andreas? We want Andreas.” They seized Papandreou’s security guard and began beating him in the living room, trying to force him to reveal Andreas’ whereabouts. After tyrannizing everyone, breaking open closets, and scattering the clothing around at random, they jabbed Papandreou’s wife, Margaret, with their pistol butts and threatened to kill Papandreou’s son unless he told them where his father was. At that point Papandreou gave himself up. As he jumped down four feet from the roof to the balcony, he cut his knee severely on an outside wall light. The soldiers started beating him and then shoved him into the bedroom and forced him to dress. He was then taken away, together with his security guard, who was later brutally beaten that night and the next day for having “lied.”
When they left, Margaret Papandreou drove up to Kastri, the home of her father-in-law, George Papandreou, the president of the Center Union. The streets were deserted and American Sherman tanks could be heard rumbling in the distance. At Kastri the situation was the same. The army had come for the former Prime Minister.
At six o’clock in the morning an announcement was made on the radio informing the Greek people that the army had taken over the country in order to preempt a communist takeover. The announcement went on to list the articles of the Constitution which had been suspended by authority of the King. The coup had been carefully planned and swiftly executed. It captured the leaders of most political parties and arrested several thousand additional key members of political organizations on that first day. Since then, more arrests have been made, with approximately 20,000 persons in jail or crowded on a few barren islands in the Aegean which serve as concentration camps for political prisoners.
The coup had been executed by a military triumvirate of relatively junior officers–Brigadier Stylianos Patakos, Colonel George Papadopoulos, and Colonel Nikolas Makarezos. Lieutenant General Gregorios Spandidakis was brought in at the final stages of preparation, with front-man Constantine Kollias, the chief prosecutor of the Greek Supreme Court, providing the civilian facade as Prime Minister.
The Junta, lacking any popular base of support, started to consolidate its position in a series of edicts. The army was quick to issue its orders to the civilian population.
ARMY STAFF PROCLAMATION
In view of the decree of Law DXTH of 1912 “Concerning a
State of Siege” put into effect under Royal Decree No. 280
of April 21, 1967.
WE HAVE DECIDED AND
(1) Gatherings in the open country of more than five persons.
(2) Gatherings in closed spaces, excluding public entertainments.
(3) The exercising by any means of anti-national propaganda, as well as the announcement or publication by any means, of information liable to cause anxiety or fear to the citizens and trouble public order.
(4) The carrying of arms and the possession by individuals of arms of any kind, including hunting rifles, munitions, explosives, any kind of fireworks, knives, knuckle-dusters, and any other similar weapons, as well as the construction and use of the same without a special permit from the military or police authority. Licenses given up to today cease to be of any value and those who possess the above articles are obliged, within two days from today, to hand over same to the nearest police authorities.
(5) The temporary medical treatment of persons not residing with the family which gives the treatment, if this is not stated within two hours to the nearest police authority.
(6) The possession, installation, and use of amateur radio stations and any means of receiving and transmitting.
(7) The hoarding and excess pricing of foodstuffs or of any other goods which serve the provisioning needs of the public, or the setting-aside of same for this purpose by anyone.
(8) Hunting. All licenses granted up to now are canceled.
(9) The violators of this order will be tried by the Special Courts Martial and will be punished according to the decree related to a “state of siege.”
Athens, April 25, 1967
Chief of Army General Staff
In the days immediately following the coup, the radio blared martial music, broadcast talks filled with patriotic fervor, and provided the Greek people with a rationale for the coup–stability. Of a series of eighteen proclamations, two ran as follows.
Greek men and women! The Army’s action in taking over the governing of the country was the immediate consequence of all that has happened up to now against our country. For many years Greece has been undermined. And for a considerable time she breathed in agony. She was on the verge of catastrophe. And she deeply felt the need to be saved by whatever means, even strong ones. Then she acted through the National Army. And Greece now lives again. We shall leave behind us all the bad past. And we shall enter upon a period of new prosperity and glory.
Stability is the wish of all Greeks. And the Army took over the governing of the country exactly for this reason. To restore, to stabilize, and to safeguard stability. Political, governmental, social, economic, and currency stability. This it will say: No more partisan dissension, partisan passion; no governmental crises; no spirit of the pavement, marches and clashes; no scandals, no getting salaries without working, no excess profits for the few and misery for the many. All these “nos” make up stability. And they thus constitute a big Yes: The yes to progress. Because without stability in all sectors, there is no progress. Neither economic development, nor work, nor prosperity.
No country progressed by every day changing its prime Minister. No nation advanced by making marches and demonstrations. Only stability brings prosperity and stability is brought by the Armed Forces with a national government which we have given to the country. [Italics supplied.]
Democracy, clearly, was not to be allowed in the very country from which it sprang. Private as well as public expressions of dissent were not to be tolerated, and Greece, to use Colonel Papadopoulos’ imagery, was to be strapped to the operating table and not allowed to rise until cured of her democratic ills. Article 18 of the Greek Constitution was suspended and the death penalty for political offenses was thus reintroduced into Greek political life. Systematically, and in order to “safeguard stability,” all political opponents were hunted down. The leadership of the Center Union party was arrested along with those Center Union deputies known to be supporters of Andreas Papandreou. The deputies of the United Democratic Left were rounded up, as well as many other members of that party. One of the first casualties in this initial wave of mass arrests was Nikiforos Mandilaras, the brilliant Athenian lawyer who had served as the principal defense attorney in the politically inspired Aspida (Shield) trial involving twenty-eight army officers accused of high treason.(1) His defense made a shambles of the charges which had been manufactured by the High Command of the Greek army. He exposed their fraudulent base and he paid for this humiliation of the army with his life. His body was found washed ashore on the island of Rhodes.
(1) The Aspida “conspiracy” concerns an alleged plot by left-wing officers to overthrow the monarchy and establish a Nasser-type dictatorship. Andreas Papandreou was accused of being the political leader behind the plot. Details of the Aspida controversy will be covered in subsequent chapters. The original Aspida Report is published in Appendix IV.
The Junta had expected some resistance to the coup, and, indeed, would have welcomed it as proof of a communist conspiracy to take over the country. Instead, it was greeted with a stony silence. It was caught unprepared in that it had no consistent or well-conceived social program other than the promotion of stability and public order. It began by banning all local elections. Henceforth, local officials would be appointed. Then, through the talkative Brigadier Patakos, it announced the beginning of a puritan orgy of comic-opera proportions. A ban was announced on beards and long hair for men, and mini-skirts for women, tourists included. Church attendance at Sunday Mass was made mandatory for all students. Students were soon instructed to turn in their old history books and to purchase new ones, containing a section devoted exclusively to Greek kings with a full-page picture of King Constantine toward the end. The section on modern history gave glowing accounts of rightist regimes, and George Papandreou’s 1944 liberation Cabinet was described as having had six communist ministers in it. One teacher announced to his class that he had been “asked” by the Education Minister to announce that he would deliver two lectures the following week on the reasons for the coup. He then told his class that as soon as the lectures were sent to him, he would give them.
The need to maintain the racial purity of the Greek race was proclaimed, and some members of the University of Athens biology department began to revise the theories of Darwin and de Vries. Then, apparently in the belief that the fittest do not survive, the hierarchy of the Greek church was purged and the King’s personal chaplain was installed as Primate of Greece. To protect Christianity and public order, it announced the revival of a 1942 law, passed during the Nazi occupation, requiring all legitimate theaters to submit scripts to a “Theatrical Plays-Control Board” for approval. The board not only was given the right to order deletions from any script, it was further empowered to rewrite parts of any play submitted to it for approval. Any theater faced with two rejections would be shut down, and any actor deviating in any way from an approved script would be severely punished. All plays of antiquity, by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, were to be similarly censored. The music of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and all other Russian composers was banned. In the name of stability and order, new stop signs and traffic lights were installed and other enforcement measures were taken to bring the traditional chaos of Athenian traffic under control. It was announced, moreover, that any employee of a state-owned or -controlled public utility company who was late for work or otherwise not prompt, courteous, and attentive, would be fired. And in a modern variation on Mussolini’s great achievement in making the Italian railroads run on time, the Junta decreed that any airplane of Olympic Air ways not on schedule would be required to pay a fine.
Greece, in a classic parody of the 1930’s, was being quickly transformed into the first fascist-type dictatorship to be seen on European soil since the days of Mussolini and Hitler. This was not, however, Greece’s first experience with dictatorship. After twelve years of alternating dictatorships and republican governments (1923-35), and as a result of a rigged plebiscite, the present King’s uncle, George II, returned to Greece. Within nine months he lost his short-lived taste for democracy and on August 4, 1936, installed one of his generals as dictator. General Metaxas died in 1941 as the Germans were invading Greece. King George then fled to London and finally to Cairo with a government-in-exile made up of royalist and conservative ministers.
George II was openly involved in the coup of 1936. The role of King Constantine in the coup of 1967 is a bit less apparent. But one thing which will become clear, as the story of April 21 unfolds, is that Constantine was neither as innocent nor as reluctant as the American press had made him out to be. We shall be concerned throughout this book with the intrigues and the political ineptitude of this very non-constitutional monarch and his American advisers.
The coup of April 21 had as its primary objective the prevention of the elections scheduled for May 28. It was a virtual certainty that the Center Union party would repeat its landslide victory of 1964. It is also clear that the coup would not have taken place were it not for the rapid political ascendance of George Papandreou’s son, Andreas. In the short span of two years, Andreas Papandreou had emerged as the most prominent politician in Greece and, on the basis of his program for social and economic reform, he had earned the almost pathological hostility of the Palace, the Greek army, and the U.S. State Department, along with the U.S. Military Mission to Greece, and the CIA. With this powerful array of forces against Andreas Papandreou and his Center Union party, the coup of April 21, 1967, was a foregone conclusion.
In the thirty-one years since the dictatorship of 1936, Greek politics has been firmly in the hands of the Palace and its right-wing supporters. Despite the volatility of Greek politics and its frequent excesses, this control never wavered and had never been seriously challenged. It is important to understand that Greece is a land where politics is the preoccupation of practically everyone. With the exception of the extreme communist Left, political parties have traditionally lacked any hard-and-fast ideological base. In this ideological vacuum, Greek politics emerged as a very fluid business, with parties tending to swirl around a few dominant personalities, and with the highly individualistic politicians quick to switch their allegiances as they alone saw fit. Party structure and party discipline have always been concepts apparently alien to the Greek mind. New alignments and grand coalitions were frequent phenomena on the Greek political scene. Greek politics had become a very personal game of shells and peas with more peas than shells to hide under.(2)
In many ways this is a gross caricature of Greek politics and, like most caricatures, it exaggerates the surface of things without coming to grips with the underlying reality. But even if it were an accurate picture, it would have been more relevant for the past than for the future had not the coup taken place. A “new” politics had emerged in Greece. It threatened the old game of surface politics which never disturbed the underlying and controlling power relationships. Since the constitutional crisis of July 1965, which will be described in the next chapter, Andreas Papandreou had become a positive and major political force in Greece. He represented the “new” politics and soon became the nucleus around which a strong party was being formed with a meaningful program for reform and change. This in itself constituted a major threat to the existing economic and political oligarchies which had for so long ruled Greece unchallenged and undisturbed. The “old” game of politics had never threatened the traditional distribution of power. It lacked depth or commitment. In its very shallowness it had become a game of musical chairs, of vying charismatic leaders filled more with pomp than with achievements.
(2) One long-time foreign resident in Athens was moved to observe that if the American CIA had any real intelligence, it would have recalled all of its agents and replaced them with a team of clinical psychologists.
This was all changed by a former U.S. citizen of twenty years standing. Andreas Papandreou was born in Greece in 1919 and was educated at the University of Athens during the Metaxas dictatorship. During his student days at the university he joined a left-wing student organization resisting the dictatorship. He was soon caught, imprisoned, and then exiled. He came to the United States and enrolled as a graduate student in economics at Harvard, where he taught and earned his Ph.D. in 1943. He became a U.S. citizen and volunteered for service in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he became a professor of economics at the University of Minnesota, went briefly to Northwestern University, and finally settled at the University of California (Berkeley) where he served as chairman of one of the most distinguished departments of economics in the United States. During his twenty-year stay in the United States, he was very active as a liberal Democrat. In Minnesota he worked for Hubert Humphrey in his Senatorial campaigns and later for Adlai Stevenson in the Presidential campaign of 1956.
His first contact with Greek politics came in 1960 when he returned to Athens on sabbatical from Berkeley and as the holder of a Guggenheim Fellowship. While there he also served as economic adviser to the Bank of Greece. It was at his office in the bank that he first became aware of the extent of U.S. interference in the internal politics of Greece. Loughlin Campbell was then head of the CIA in Greece. He visited Andreas at the bank and asked him to arrange a meeting with his father, George Papandreou, who at the time was one of the leaders of a nucleus of parties in the process of forming what eventually came to be the Center Union. The stated purpose of the meeting was to discuss the adoption of the “kindred party system” for Greece. In the course of the discussion, it became clear that the real purpose of the visit was not to arrange a meeting with George Papandreou (which did not need the services of Andreas), but to get Andreas, as a U.S. citizen, to apply pressure on his father to accept the CIA-sponsored change in the Greek electoral system.
Under the kindred party system each political party was to be listed under one of two classifications–nationalist and non-nationalist. The two right-wing parties, the National Radical Union (ERE) and the Progressive party (KP), and the variety of center parties then in existence, were to be grouped under the first category. All remaining parties, that is, the United Democratic Left (EDA) and other socialist and communist-front parties were to be placed in the “non-nationalist” camp. All parties would go into the elections independently of each other. After the election returns were in, the sum of both camps would be compared, winner take all. The parliamentary seats would then be divided among the parties of the winning group (nationalist, of course) on the basis of their relative standing in the nationalist sub-total. This was, obviously, a crude plan for the total disenfranchisement of the Left in Greece. The CIA had become alarmed when the United Democratic Left received 25 percent of the total votes cast in the 1958 elections. A truer figure would have been 33 percent in view of the manipulation of the elections, especially in the rural areas. But this 25 or 33 percent did not represent a communist resurgence in Greece. Much of it was made up of protest votes against the police-state methods of the National Radical Union government then in power–which was subsequently demonstrated by the rapid decline of the EDA votes in the 1963 and 1964 elections when the Center Union party came into power. In any event, the CIA was alarmed, particularly because the electoral system then in operation made the United Democratic Left the official party of the opposition. Under the kindred party system, the Left in similar circumstances would have been denied any parliamentary representation whatever, even if it had succeeded in getting 49 percent of the popular vote!
Toward the end of the visit, Andreas Papandreou told Campbell that he would arrange the meeting with his father, if that was what the CIA wanted, but that he doubted his father would be sympathetic to such an arrangement; though strongly anti-communist, his father still retained some respect for the democratic system. At this point the head of the CIA mission in Greece stood up abruptly and, pointing his finger at Andreas, replied sharply: “You tell your father we get what we want.” The meeting with George Papandreou never took place. In this one instance, the CIA did not get what it wanted. It did much better, however, on April 21, 1967, and before that on July 15, 1965, during the well-engineered constitutional crisis which brought down the Center Union government.
From 1960 to 1964, when he officially ran for Parliament, Andreas Papandreou alternated between the Berkeley campus and Athens. Through his efforts, and with grants from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, the Center of Economic Research and Planning was set up under the sponsorship of the University of California. Andreas Papandreou became its first director. A highly qualified professional staff was hired and a steady flow of foreign economists came as visiting scholars. For the first time in the history of Greece, a systematic program for basic research in economics was undertaken, a plan for economic growth was developed, and a program was started to train qualified Greek economists for key posts in government and industry.
Andreas Papandreou resigned his professorship at Berkeley to enter Greek politics in the elections of 1964. A great deal of pressure was put on Andreas by his father, but the explanation is not quite that simple. During the grand coalition of the center parties early in 1963, the problem arose over who would be the party leader of the combined forces. The two main contenders were the elder Papandreou (then seventy-six years old) and the relatively younger Sophocles Venizelos, son of the famous Eleftherios, and leader of the dominant Liberal party. As in most coalitions of this sort, the leader of the major party is always feared, and a great deal of opposition arose to Venizelos’ candidacy. But rather than break up the coalition, a compromise was worked out whereby the elder Papandreou was designated head of the combined forces, with the understanding that Venizelos would succeed him upon his death.
Constantine Mitsotakis, a subsequent defector from the Center Union government, led a group of deputies who also pressured Andreas into entering Greek politics–the idea being that he would act as major counterbalance to Venizelos, thereby increasing the chances of another compromise leader in the future, namely, one of themselves. As things turned out, George buried Sophocles, rather than the other way around.
The Center Union won an absolute majority of the parliamentary seats in the elections of 1964. Andreas Papandreou was given the patronage-controlling position of Minister to the Prime Minister. He quickly came under attack by the far Left, the far Right, and by members of his own party who saw him being groomed as a successor to his father. He was looked upon as an arriviste, an ambitious power seeker. The charge of nepotism was raised, and Andreas Papandreou didn’t help matters much by exuding a self-confidence and cockiness which only served to infuriate his opponents. The Left denounced him as a puppet and tool of the United States; it even went so far as to hint that he was a CIA agent.
Andreas Papandreou was new to politics. After twenty-odd years as a professor, he was hardly prepared for the world of politics–and Greek politics is among the most intense and wildly competitive in the world. Many of his initial appointments, some of whom were professionally trained Greeks repatriated from the United States, turned out to be disastrous. His confidence in people was all too often misplaced. And he was unable to resist the flattery heaped upon him by his newly acquired camp of followers. All told, Andreas’ performance as a politician was rather bad–about a grade of C, to gauge him by his prior occupation. And even if he had any innovating ideas of his own, there was always the restraining and vacillating influence of the Prime Minister, his father. In response to pressures from within his own party, he was removed as Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office and reassigned as Alternate Minister to the Ministry of Coordination. This post was more in keeping with his professional training, but soon after he was assigned by his father to handle the exploding Cyprus problem.
Despite its general ineptness and its floundering, the Center Union government of 1964-65 did introduce an air of political freedom which was unprecedented, and it did undertake certain social programs in education, agriculture, and economic development which were far reaching and popular with the electorate. The government, however, could not push its programs too fast. The Center Union government had become aware of the dissatisfaction and rumblings within the Greek army, and it knew that before it could proceed any further it would have to try to impose civilian control over the army. It was this attempt to control the armed forces, compounded by the Cyprus problem, which ultimately led to the constitutional crisis of July 1965 and the downfall of the Papandreou government. Details of these developments will be given in the next chapter.
The Center Union government was in serious political trouble. It was being led by an old-time politician of doubtful antecedents. George Papandreou was known in Greece as “the Windmill”–a man who was by instinct a compromiser and capable of turning every which way with every change in the political wind–and also as a vain, gregarious, and unpredictable politician who was at the same time an eloquent orator and a powerfully charismatic leader. In the early days of the Center Union government, Andreas Papandreou was the much resented son of an aging politician who, no matter how much he might have disagreed with his father, did whatever he was told.
What “made” Andreas Papandreou was the crisis of 1965. From July 1965 to April 1967 he created his own independent identity by stumping the country and showing a remarkable political courage. He broke away from his father’s restraining influence, and introduced something new to Greek politics–a consistent, well-thought-out, and far-reaching program for Greece. Coupling this with a sometimes strident nationalism, and helped by the hysterical and all-too-frequent attacks on him by the right-wing press, he succeeded in capturing the imagination of the young people and many members of the professional and intellectual classes–though the latter still regarded him with suspicion as something too good to be believable.
Above all, he had been dangerously outspoken against the King and had flatly stated that if the King were to trigger the army into a coup, the whole issue of the monarchy in Greece would subsequently be reexamined. He strongly implied, in other words, that in such an eventuality the entire royal household would once again be exiled and Greece transformed into a republic. He was the only politician in Greece who had dared to broach the subject publicly.
It soon became popular in Greece to link the younger Papandreou with the late President Kennedy–as a man with style, intellect, and a program to get Greece moving again. It would have been more accurate, however, to have viewed him as having been caught in the unfortunate dilemma of being Robert Kennedy plus Hubert Humphrey rolled into one. Andreas, like Kennedy, had clearly set his eyes on the highest political office his country had to offer. Like Kennedy, too, he had risen very fast and had captured the imagination of the people. But, unlike Kennedy, his father was not a man of great wealth. Andreas and his father, by way of contrast, were both active politicians in increasing disagreement with each other. More important, for comparison’s sake, the former Attorney General was able to quit Lyndon Johnson’s Cabinet and, as Senator from New York, dissociate himself from the President’s present policies and failures. Andreas, on the other hand, was more like Humphrey, in that it was very difficult for him to criticize the political leader of his party, who, in this instance, also happened to be his father. Yet the remarkable thing is that Andreas, despite the built-in limitation of his position, was able to generate sympathy for his dilemma and to give the very distinct impression throughout Greece of being far more progressive than his father. By December of 1966, as we shall see, he was on the verge of breaking with his father.
Andreas’ “radicalism,” however, was nothing more than a mixture of the New Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society. But for Greece’s semi-feudal, Byzantine structure, attitudes such as these are extremely radical, and Andreas was regarded by the far Right as a dangerous communist. The Right had little fear of Papandreou père. They knew him to be manipulable and a member in high standing of the old school of Greek politics; they also knew that he was a compromiser capable of adjusting his position easily under pressure. What the night feared most was that Papandreou fils would someday succeed his father as Prime Minister and carry out the programs he had so frequently publicized in his speeches and in his writings. And it was for this reason that the Right and its many newspapers attacked Andreas so relentlessly and with such abandon from July of 1965 until the coup of April 1967. And it was for this reason that the coup took place.
The Right, however, was not alone in its opposition to Andreas. The extreme Left, which had stopped criticizing him since the crisis of 1965, regarded him now as a temporary expedient to be supported so long as it served their purposes, and within the Center Union party a few powerful deputies looked upon him as the major stumbling block to power. In all this, Andreas had eclipsed his father and had emerged as the de facto leader of his party. It was largely due to Andreas’ meteoric rise, and the political ineptness of the King and his followers, that he emerged as the first serious threat to the Greek establishment in over thirty years.
Throughout the entire postwar period, Greek politics had been polarized between the extreme Left and the extreme Right. Democratic socialists, liberals, and other political parties in the center had been splintered and ineffective. The extreme Left was well organized but, since the civil war of 1946-49, lacked any real possibility of getting into power through the ballot box or otherwise. The Palace, the army, the right-wing parties, and the U.S. presence were guarantees of that. The Right, therefore, had the held to itself. Occasionally, and only occasionally, a moderate Center government would take over for a very brief period of time. But regardless of what party was in office, the levers of power were firmly controlled by the Right. Thus, a pseudo-democratic, semblance of government was tolerated, so long as no one threatened to tamper with the existing institutional structure and the given distribution of power.
The Right maintained full control over the machinery of State. The bureaucracy, the police, the rural gendarmerie, and the army were staffed with their own people. Greece, for example, was the only Allied country in which the collaborators were not purged from their official positions. Indeed, in the immediate postwar period, and just prior to the 1946 plebiscite on the return of King George, the army, the bureaucracy, the university, and the security forces were purged of republican job-holders. It is significant that none of the Metaxas appointees or university professors who had collaborated with the Germans were dismissed. But they couldn’t have found very many liberal republicans in the 1946 purge. The dictator Metaxas had done a thorough job during his reign of terror and had bequeathed the purged branches of the governmental machinery to the German occupiers, who then turned them over intact to the British who, in turn, after the purge of 1946, handed them over refurbished to the Americans.
The Center Union government of 1964-65, however, got a little too ambitious. It tried to exercise some control over this sub-level of government which was busily sabotaging its social and economic programs. The duly elected government was then summarily dismissed by the King in July of 1965. Since then, and up to the coup of April 1967, a series of Palace puppet governments were propped into power. When it became obvious that the Center Union party had not been broken and, under the de facto leadership of Andreas Papandreou, would win the constitutionally required elections, the Constitution was abrogated, the politicians were arrested, and an open military dictatorship was imposed upon Greece.