Greek officials marked the 55th anniversary of the military coup of 21 April, 1967, when the army colonels overthrew the government resulting in seven years of dictatorship for the country.
“The seven years of dictatorship abolished the Constitution and its institutions, sharpened national division and ended in the tragedy of Cyprus,” said President Katerina Sakellaropoulou. “The political, cultural and spiritual regression that the country experienced then, are reminiscent today of distant memories and experiences.”
“At the same time, it reminds us that democracy is not a self-evident or natural state of political and social life and that its continuous defense is the duty of all of us.”
In his own message, Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis said “April 21, 2022 emphasizes that Democracy can be tested in different ways. Authoritarian despotism is now attacking the free besieged Ukraine.”
“While in all countries populism is once again circulating supposedly easy answers to difficult questions, proposing non-existent solutions to existing challenges.”
On 21 April , just weeks before the scheduled elections, a group of right-wing army officers led by Brigadier Stylianos Pattakos and Colonels George Papadopoulos and Nikolaos Makarezos seized power. The violent takeover was followed by a ruthless regime that lasted seven years and came to an end after Turkey invaded and occupied Cyprus in July 1974, following an Athens-instigated attempt to topple Archbishop Makarios III, the Cypriot president.