An uproar has been caused in Greece after the discovery ‘junta droplets*” (so the Greek press) in the Military Academy “Evelpidon”. In an unprecedented incident that took place on November 17th 2011, the chief of students of the 4th year, ordered his co-students to sing the Hymn of 21st April 1967, the song praising the military dictatorship.
According to press reports, after the official celebration to commemorate the Student’s Uprising was over and the military officers left the hall, the chief-student, 22, ordered students of foreign origin, including those from Cyprus to leave the hall, and gave order to his co-students to take down ‘these nonsense’, that is the pictures of the Polytechnic School Uprising of November 1973. He delivered a speech praising the Junta and then asked a group of students to come to the stage and sing a paraphrase the Junta Hymn.
Here is to note that according to military code, the chief-student is the best of the best and his co-students have to obey his orders.
After the Junta Hymn was sung, some students allegedly whistled and hailed with enthusiasm. It looks as if the Military Academy Command tried to cover up this incident.
The incident set on alert the Defense Ministry and the military leadership, but the news became public ten days later through the Sunday edition of TO VIMA newspaper. Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos issued a statement describing the incident as “outrageous, offensive and unacceptable” and sent the message throughout the army that “any conduct derogating from the principles of democracy, human rights and freedom will not be tolerated.”
Avramopoulos ordered the Chief of Army General Staff to thoroughly investigate the issue, the Disciplinary Board of the Military Academy considers even to expel the student from the Academy.
Now the Army has to answer questions among others as to Why the Military Academy ‘tolerated’ this incident, where were the supervisors, who taught the students the Junta hymn, and most important, whether the allegations of a retired general included in a “secret report” that was sent in February 2011 to the political leadership of the Ministry of Defense were unfounded or not. In his report, he claimed that “junta-droplets” were still active in the army and even recruit students of Military Academy.
Student with a … past
The same student has caused another incident during the October 28th parade in Thessaloniki. As chief of his group, he opposed orders of his superiors to interrupt the parade due to massive anti-austerity protest against the political leadership. Instead, he ordered his group to sing a military march about Macedonia while they walked in scorer step for a while.
The young man is offspring of a military family that seems to draw attention due to “excessive nationalism and junta-nostalgia”. Back in the 1982, his father was involved an incident, when he and some co-students beaten up another military academy student because he was allegedly attending meetings of the Greek Communist Party.
Top Secret Report on Junta-Supporters in the Army
On the occasion of the incident at the Military Academy, daily Ethnos revealed a top secret report on ‘isolated junta supporters in the Greek army, 38 years after the end of the military dictatorship. The report was prepared by the A2, intelligence office in the Army and includes documents of the so-called “Ioannides-Group” that was recruiting cadets from the Military Academy and the Land Army until the 1987. Cadets with “nationalist sentiments” who had to learn how to function within the democratic constitution. Ioannides was one of the dictators’ Troika of the April 21st 1967 junta.
The report findings speak of twelve persons who were in key positions within the army and that the Ioannides-group was recruiting executives with the springboard the Military Academy, a ‘hotbed’ for junta-supporters. The main target of the Ionannides-Group was
“to “function ‘subcutaneous’ with long-term aim to continue influencing the military staff, to promote the most privileged people manifesting a “revolutionary” [Junta was considered a revolution among its supporters] sentiment and smoothly push them in the upper echelons of the hierarchy and in key positions and posts. The objective of this direction would be to adapt behavior to the circumstances of the Republic and the aggressive penetration of the major political parties. Soon, the political parties would have these military personnel perfectly cooperating with them and with their ‘blessing’ they would get the highest offices of the military hierarchy!”
Ethnos stresses that “Today, in the year 2011, the situation has not really changed ”
Retired Army officers founded Political Party
Retired army officers founded a political party last week with the name “Association of National Unity”, a party mainly composed of retired officers who graduated form the Military Academy in 1981. Only a farce called to awaken the people and the existing political organizations could be approached to set up the party retired, entitled: “Association of National Unity” and a mainly composed of retired officers who graduated from the Academy in 1981. The retired officers promise a ‘military solution’ and stress in a press release:
“The new party was founded under the present difficult conditions in our country, conditions that characterize the end of the post-dictatorship period. But the new political power that is generated and displayed in the political life of our country, with the enthusiastic support of our friends from all over Greece will be the hope to lift the national spirit and the confidence of the people.”
While there are some questions about the political background of the “khaki” party and whether they are in deep nostalgia of the past, it should be reminded that on September 30th, 2011, the Retired officers broke into the premises of the Defense Ministry and General Staff protesting their pension cuts.
Coup d’Etat Fears: Real or Unreal?
Three days after the cancellation of October 28th parades, (former) Defense Minister Panos Beglitis replaced the whole military leadership, drawing criticism in Greece, in fact for one reason: because he never convincingly explained the real reason for the surprise reshuffle, thus allowing rumors and scenarios. Short time later and while in Cannes, (former) Prime Minister George Papandreou allegedly told Merkel and Sarkozy, that he was planning the referendum because he was afraid of a coup d’etat. Papandreou’s ‘argument’ was not official but leaked by French Liberation daily, journalist Jean Quatremer, who posted the ‘news’ on Twitter.
The government dismissed Quatremers’ claims as “unbelievable scenarios”.
In Greece, there was never an official explanation on the issue. I think, it’s high time that we, Greek citizens, learn more on the issue – officially.
*junta-droplets”is a term used by Defence Minister Evangelos Averof in the 1980’s to describe ‘isolated cases of junta-supporters in the army”
Thumbnail is an archive picture
Links in Greek:
To Vima “Junta-Droplets in Military Academy”
Defencenet.gr reference: Papandreou spoke of coup d’etat fears with reference to CIA report.
Real News.gr “Papandreou spoke of Coup d’ Etat in Cannes”