Below you will find some of the highlights published in Sunday newspaper To Vima in its front page report “The Coup d’ etat that didn’t happen…”. The basic idea of the newspaper is that the leadership of the Greek Armed Forces was replaced in November 2011 because then Prime Minister George Papandreou and National Defence Minister Panos Beglitis were afraid of an upcoming military intervention.
A special reference is being made to former Chief of Land Forces Fangoulis Frangos. Already after the replacement of last November, there are claims in the Greek media, that he was ‘preparing a coup and therefore the leadership was replaced’.
Highlights of lengthy To Vima report:
- Relations between defence Minister Beglitis and Frangos were tense. Beglitis was sceptical on Frangos considering him as especially active, while he concetrated more and more power in his hands. He had contacts to religious organizations that are active off the official Church.
- Frangos was the inspirator of building the ditch at the Greek Turkish borders in Evros.
- Frangos had not informed Beglitis about the military exercise* in Kilkis, where soldiers were trained to combat protesters.
- The booing of politicians during the October 28/2011 parade were staged by extreme-rights**, retired army officers and members of religious fundamentalists.
- Politician of the national-patriotic section of the right-wing confesses today in private discussions that in the days before October 28th, he was felt out by a retired army officer about a possible participatation in an interim government of military.
- The analysis tabled to Papandreou was based on the assessment that overthrowing of governments is not done by sudden moved of individual army officers. Before any movement in this direction, an organised castigation of the political class and civil irritation caused by widespread incidents precede.
- “The army comes as a Deus ex machina (a savor) at the end of the play, not at the beginning,” said a high ranking PASOK official.
- To trigger a military intervention was exactly that what those who work out plans for a withdrawal of Greece from the European Union.
*Military Exercise “Kallimachos”
On February 4th, 2011 a military exercise took place in the military camp Koromilas in Argyroupolis of Kilkis, North-Eastern Greece. Soldiers were dressed as protesters. The video, first uploaded by www.kilkistoday.gr, showed the combat of widespread protests, ‘terrorist attacks, clashes with protesters, neutralizing bombs and other activities. The event was part of the military exercise “Kallimachos”.
Video: via YouTube
Odd enough, some statement in the Parliament brought back the claims that the army should have been used against protesters in December 8th, 2008, a day after 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos was killed by a policeman. On 14. September 2012, national-patriotic Independent Greeks MP Costas Markopoulos (former MP of Nea Dimocratia, Minister for Tourism Development under Karamalnis government 2007) surprised his colleagues in the plenary hall of the Parliament when he said that “Athens was burned down in 2008, because the armed forces were not mobilized as some were scared to do so. this statement outraged some ND MPs who said “Are you crazy? You wanted to bring the army against 15-year-old teenagers?”
There were claims in the Greek media from time to time, that there were thoughts in the then Karamanlis government to get the army against the protesters. Ministers of the time, Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Defence Evangelos Meimarakis dismissed such claims.
** I remember very well that when the crowds filled the road where the parade was to take place, the media were claiming that members of left-wing SYRIZA were the initiators of the protests. Now the target is apparently somebody else.
PS To tell you the truth, the more one reads and digs, the more are the possibilities to gain some clues as to why the coup d’ etat claims are ‘resurrected’. One needs a lots of patience, a big stomach and an affiliation to conspiracy theories to understand the motives of political games.