George Papadopoulos

Article

December 7, 2021

Geórgios Papadópoulos (Greek: ; 5 May 1919 – 27 June 1999) was a Greek military and politician who led the coup on 21 April 1967, and was head of the military junta that ruled until 1974. During this time, he served as PM (1967-1973), regent (1972-1973) and after the abolition of the monarchy became president (1973).

Biography

During World War II, Papadopoulos served as a lieutenant colonel. He works in the Patras Food Supply Office headed by Col. Kourkoulakosan, the officer responsible for the formation of the "Security Battalion" in Patras. In early 1944, Papadopoulos headed for Egypt, the base of the Greek government in exile, and helped form the right-wing secret organization IDEA shortly after his country was liberated that same year, then returned to his homeland. He served in the KYP Intelligence Service between 1959-1964 as the main contact between KYP and the CIA's top intelligence officer in Greece, John Fatseas after receiving his training from the CIA in 1953. On April 21, 1967 (a month before the elections), Papadopoulos and other mid-ranking army officers led a successful coup by taking advantage of the tense political situation caused by the conflict between King Konstantinos II and Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou. From the early stages, Papadopoulos emerged as a strong figure of the new regime, as evidenced before becoming PM in 1974 he served as minister of defense and minister of the presidency in the first government. After student riots on November 17, 1973 at the National Technical University of Athens, Papadopoulos' government was overthrown 8 days later by hard-line elements in the Army. After the restoration of democracy in 1974, during metapolitefsi ("regime change"), Papadopoulos and his group were tried for treason, insubordination, torture, and other crimes and minor crimes. On August 23, 1975, they were found guilty and sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life imprisonment. Papadopoulos remained in prison, refusing amnesty until the end of his life due to cancer. Today, Papadopoulos is the epitome of authoritarianism and xenophobia for many Greeks.

See also

Modern Greek History Military History of Greece during World War II Civil War in Greece Greek military junta in 1967-1974

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