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Greece November 2011: “The Coup D’ Etat that Did Not Happen…” Part II

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, 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

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

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.

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  1. Connections with ‘secret’ religious organisations have always been a clear indication that something like this was on the cards. One has only to look at Italy for an example.
    Thanks a bunch for your work translating and interpreting this.

    • you’re welcome and thanks for appreciation. I might have done something more but chose to go for a late-September swim 🙂

      • You are a smart and wise person to go swimming instead of digging in things like P2-loge like conspiracies… Summer has been long this year. Maybe too long. But sitting on my veranda in my shorts, digesting some light Greek evening food, enjoying a sip of wine, listening to the night crickets, watching in awe the rising of the fengari in all his beauty, I am happy that summer is still with us at the beginning of October and feel blessed to be here at the moment.

        • indeed, these are rare warm and sweet days for the season and today I had one of the best swims of summer 2012: the north wind had swept away everything, crystal water, pleasant temperature. We didn’t even needed a bath towel when we came out of water at 5:40 after of more than one hour swimming. surreal for Sept 30th.

  2. If I’m not mistaken the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Chiefs of the Hellenic Army, Navy and Air Force were scheduled to be evaluated in August 2011. Their evaluations were postponed because there was a crisis in the Greek-Turkish relations over the rights of the Cypriot government to explore and exploit its oil and natural gas resources. It’s likely that the top officers of the Greek Armed Forces were replaced because in November 2011 the G A Papandreou government realized that: 1) It was in its last throes and wanted to appoint their own like-minded top military brass. 2) Its efforts to reduce the size and reorganize the Greek Armed Forces as well as to reduce the annual defense budget, met the stiff resistance of the military establishment.

    Although, it seems out of the ordinary to train Greek Army units in policing operations, it makes sense if the preceding events are taken in to account. The violent demonstrations in May of 2010 against the first memorandum which resulted in the deaths of three people, the presence of criminal gangs armed with assault riffles and the conviction in mid-October 2010 of two police officers for the murder of a 15 year old student, were very disturbing occurrences. The Army units could had been part of a contingency plan to assist the Hellenic Police in controlling future events.

    The article about stopping a military coup in the fall of 2011 is pure unadulterated speculation.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      I take 1). ND had done it in 2009 when it was clear it owul dlose th eleections.
      “Army… part of contigency plan.. Police..” I agree with the cool heads of ND: you can’t send the army against teenagers.