Constantine de Grecia in Easter visit

In his second trip to Greece in two months after a 10-year absence, the former king Constantine arrived in Thessaloniki yesterday for a weeklong Easter holiday accompanied by his wife and their two eldest sons. Traveling on an EU passport in the name of Constantine de Grecia – the same he used during a weekend visit to Athens in mid-February – the London-based former king landed at Thessaloniki airport at 1.40 p.m. on an Austrian Airlines flight. The former royals were expected to spend the night in Metsovo and will be in Ioannina for the Easter weekend. They will leave Greece on Tuesday. It was the 62-year-old former monarch’s fourth visit since he fled the country in 1967 after organizing an abortive countercoup to unseat the eight-month-old military dictatorship, and follows the conclusion of a long court battle with the Greek government. In November, the European Court of Human Rights awarded Constantine 12 million euros in compensation for the 1994 seizure – under a law drafted by current Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos – of his Greek estates.