Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Avoiding My Big Fat Greek Coup?


Hmmmmm .....
As Greek politics grew ever more chaotic strong political protests erupted as the government moved to replace military chiefs with officers seen as more supportive of George Papandreou, the prime minister.

In a surprise development, Panos Beglitis, Defence Minister, a close confidante of Mr Papandreou, summoned the chiefs of the army, navy and air-force and announced that they were being replaced by other senior officers.

Neither the minister nor any government spokesman offered an explanation for the sudden, sweeping changes, which were scheduled to be considered on November 7 as part of a regular annual review of military leadership retirements and promotions. Usually the annual changes do not affect the entire leadership.

“Under no circumstances will these changes be accepted, at a time when the government is collapsing and has not even secured a vote of confidence,” said an official announcement by the opposition conservative New Democracy party.
There is A LOT of history here. The present Greek Prime Minister is George Papandreou. What does he know of the Greek military?
(In April 1967) Andreas Papandreou was arrested at around the same time after seven soldiers with fixed bayonets and one with a machine gun forcibly entered his home. Andreas Papandreou escaped to the roof of his house but surrendered after one of the soldiers held a gun to the head of his then 14-year old son George Papandreou.
Interesting time.

Hat tip Ed.

31 comments:

SouthernAP said...

If Greece goes Junta again and with Turkey dabbling in Islamic theocracy, I wonder if the Eastern Med will be a warzone again sometime in our future.

Aubrey said...

I see Greece descending into complete anarchy and civil war - Turkey, however, is going to be too caught up in the issues with Israel (especially with what is brewing between Israel and Iran) to really take advantage.

ewok40k said...

I too think Turkey looks East and South now... Cyprus might get a bit of a hot spot, but rather in a "little cold war" style than something serious.
OTOH, Greece has ran into the wall of citizens expectations not matched by economy and it will take time and possibly blood to sort out. Worse will be secondary waves of crisis running thru Italy, possibly France and then God only knows what resulting global market panic stampede will result. Chinese might have some schadenfreude out of this until they realise they are running out of export markets. Beggar-thy-neighbor backfires, my dear pandas!

MR T's Haircut said...

A Democracy, a "stable" partner of NATO, and a country in crisis and debt.. hmm.. looks like this debt problem is getting worse and has national security reprecussions for the nations involved...   this is no minor thing.   Could we be next?

Mullen said that the National Debt was a National Security Issue... 

Recommend researching the Weimar republic.

Interesting times indeed.  Greece is a canary in the mineshaft.

James said...

We'll Germany......how are those military muscles feeling? I have this terrible suspicion Europe may need you very much soon.

Surfcaster said...

Well, at least they did not expend their rescources in North Africa.

Interesting times indeed. If the wheels come off the European bus sometime soon that would (channeling my inner Capt Obvious) be disastrous but on a more local level what impact would it have on our EuroSocialism lovers? And short of parking some ships in the English Channel, would we, could we sit this one out?

SouthernAP said...

I don't think so. I think that Turkey will keep looking west at thier traditional enemies of the Greeks. I have even money that would say the Turks might take advantage of a Greek Civil War or even shift directions if another Junta comes into power or even some radical group like the Marxists/Socialists come into power in Greece. Don't just think of Cyprus, that is just a large battle zone for them. Think of all the different islands in the Aegean that both sides have been lusting over for the last few millenium? I would also wonder how much stress this would apply to NATO if Greece and Turkey go to war with each other. If Western Europe or even Eastern Europe was smart they would find a way to prevent Greeks from doing even more stupid in the next few years. Simply because I can see Russia licking her jowls thinking of being even more of a regional power in the Med by either brokering a salvation plan or if war breaks out then brokering peace.

clarkward said...

Avoiding a coup, or staging one of his own?

ewok40k said...

Oh, Russia would love to interfere in such a conflict, to repeat its XIX century policy...
There is one question, can Russian Black Sea fleet even deal with the Turkish one? How the mighty have fallen...
Civil war in Greece? this is pushing it. At best, few bombs by radical left and riots all the day, but the stone and molotov cocktail riots not gun riots. If government plays it cool, they will eventually outlast the protesters the Thatcher way. There will probably be casualties, but there is no leading force like 1940s Communist Party to create a real civil war. Oh and there is no Soviet Union to support such war from behind borders.
From the viewpoint of Turkey, on the Greek front there is few small islands to gain, and EU wrath to be incurred. They might be bankrupts but they are OUR bankrupts if you know what I mean. OTOH, on the East/South there is influence to gain, even if not by direct annexation,  in huge area from Iran to Egypt,  just by clever diplomacy and occasional show of hostility towards Israel. And there are Kurds that are thorn in the Turkey's side...

ewok40k said...

probably a little of both, since parliament might turn against the executive any moment...

ewok40k said...

Larry Bond, "Cauldron" - a bit outdated, but quite realistic vision, from military viewpoint, of a worst case scenario.

Retired Now said...

1974 -  an interesting year in Greek History.  TURKEY suprized GREECE militarily in 1974.

2011 - The Greek Prime Minister surprized the World Monday and will put the European rescue plan to a popular vote, the first referendum to be held in Greece since 1974.

1974 -  TURKEY surprized the World by invading the island of Cyprus while its Air Force and Navy fired on the Greek Navy to keep them away from the invasion forces moving onto Cyprus.

2011 - Greece surprized the World and drives down the stock market of the European Union, which forms the World's largest economy.

Greece and Turkey:  what new surprizes await ?

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