Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The ghost of the Colonels by Adam Curtis

About a month ago, Adam Curtis (pictured) published this entry on his BBC blog.
It is an excellent piece and it connects the current financial situation of Greece with the
Greek Colonels' dictatorship.

Among the gems included are a really fascinating report by Panorama's John Morgan, and the film
Greece - The Seven Black Years, which manages to give a clear picture (and in colour!) of what life under the regime was like.
It is a remarkable film and a wonderful source for those interested in developing an in-depth understanding of the dictatorship.

Monday, 26 September 2011

'Back to the 1960s'

Another entry that is connected to the Greek debt crisis.

Yesterday, a Greek minister (by a strange twist of fate bearing the same name as the Greek dictator's brother and regime official) made a comparison between the current financial situation in Athens and the one around the time of the Greek Colonels' regime, and expressed the opinion that Greece's exit from the eurozone would lead the country 40 to 50 years back.

According to BBC News:

'Greece's minister for international economic relations, Constantine Papadopoulos, said leaving the euro would be "catastrophic" for Greece.
"I personally think [leaving the eurozone] would take us back to the 1960s or 1970s,"he told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme.
He later clarified that he was not referring to the political situation at the time, when the military took power in a coup, but the standards of living and the structure of the economy.'

Here's the full article.

And here you can see an interview he gave to SKY NEWS more recently:

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Greece and the EEC, 38 years ago

I've just started concentrating some primary material from my PhD research, which I think echoes the current situation of Greece and its financial troubles.

Today, EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said Greece will only receive further EU and International Monetary Fund aid by sticking firmly to its deficit reduction targets.
His exact words were the following:

'The ball is now in the Greek court in a sense that it is essential that Greece will take the necessary decisions and fully fill the fiscal gap that has emerged in the course of this year.'

Here's a quote by a Foreign Office official on Greece and its relation with the European Economic Community, from almost 40 years ago, when the Greek junta was taking some liberalisation measures:

‘Although we were encouraged by recent developments in Greece it would be wrong to expect any dramatic response from us at this stage. There would probably be some room for improving bilateral relations, particularly as there should be a reduction of hostility in Parliament, but we would need to wait and see for a bit longer before taking any major steps.  […] The only real constraint on EEC/Greek relations had been concern in the EEC about conditions in Greece. An improvement in the latter would in due course lead to improvement in the former. We hoped that it would be possible soon to finalise negotiations on the Protocol; but we understood that the ball was in the Greek court(emphasis added).
Source: The National Archives, Foreign and Commonwealth Office files, FCO 1730, ‘Call by Mr Philon’, W107, R F Cornish, Southern European Department, FCO to Baker, 4.10.1973.