Author Topic: Greece 1973: the fascinating story behind Series A and B  (Read 11631 times)

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Offline <k>

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Re: Greece 1973: the fascinating story behind Series A and B
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2012, 01:07:38 AM »
20 drachmai, Series B.  This reverse design was only used in 1973.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 12:10:17 AM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Greece 1973: the fascinating story behind Series A and B
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2012, 03:39:28 PM »


Dimitrios Ioannidis (right), with Georgios Papadopoulos.

From Wikipedia:

In 1973 Papadopoulos had undertaken a "liberalisation" of the regime, which included the release of political prisoners and the partial lifting of censorship, as well as promises of a new constitution and new elections for a return to civilian rule. Opposition elements were thus given the opportunity to undertake political action against the junta. The decision to return to political rule and the restriction of their role was resented by many of the regime's hard-line supporters in the Army.

From the Daily Telegraph (UK):

When the army was called in, on November 17th 1973, to quell a student demonstration against the junta at the Athens Polytechnic, causing dozens of deaths and injuring hundreds, the head of the military police, Dimitrios Ioannidis, moved to oust Papadopoulos. On November 25th troops loyal to him arrested Papadopoulos and installed a serving general, Phaidon Gizikis, as president.

A puppet administration was established and Adamantios Androutsopoulos, a Greek-American lawyer, was named as prime minister, though he had little influence: Ioannidis, now known as “the invisible dictator”, was really in charge. His regime rounded up many political prisoners who had been amnestied by Papadopoulos and exiled them to island prison camps. Rumours began to circulate of the renewed torture of detained political opponents.


 
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 12:10:35 AM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Greece 1973: the fascinating story behind Series A and B
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2012, 03:41:01 PM »


Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus.

From the Daily Telegraph (UK):

Union of Cyprus with Greece (enosis), had been a key goal of the colonels’ coup. On July 15 1974, the Ioannidis regime sponsored a coup against Archbishop Makarios, president of Cyprus. Turkey, professing concern for the ethnic-Turkish population on the island, invaded five days later, occupying about 20 per cent of the country. This spectacular national disaster rebounded on Ioannidis, who was almost immediately sidelined by the military establishment in favour of an all-party political government under the veteran conservative politician Constantine Karamanlis, who returned to Greece from exile in Paris.

Talks between the new civilian government and Turkey to try to resolve the Cyprus crisis collapsed and Turkey launched a second assault on the island in August, this time seizing and occupying its northern third. Over the next year the country’s ethnic Greeks and Turks, who had lived intermingled, fled or were driven into two ethnically homogeneous regions, a situation that endures today.


 
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 12:11:26 AM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Greece 1973: the fascinating story behind Series A and B
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2012, 03:42:08 PM »
From Wikipedia:

Following Karamanlis' resounding victory in the November 1974 parliamentary elections, he called a referendum in December  on whether Greece would restore the monarchy or remain a republic. 69% of the electorate voted for the establishment of a republican parliamentary democracy. A law passed in 1994 stripped Constantine of his Greek citizenship and passport. As a Prince of Denmark, Constantine now uses a Danish diplomatic passport. He lives in London and is godfather to Prince William. His sister Sofia is Queen of Spain.

In January 1975 the junta members were formally arrested, and in August the government of Karamanlis brought charges of high treason and insurrection against Papadopoulos and nineteen other co-conspirators of the military junta. The mass trial was staged at the Korydallos Prison. The trial was described as "Greece's Nuremberg". One thousand soldiers armed with submachine guns provided security. The roads leading to the jail were patrolled by tanks. Papadopoulos, Pattakos, Makarezos and Ioannides were sentenced to death for high treason. These sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment by the Karamanlis government. Papadopoulos died in hospital in 1999, while Ioannides remained incarcerated until his death in 2010.

Offline <k>

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Re: Greece 1973: the fascinating story behind Series A and B
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2012, 01:55:05 PM »
If we look at Greece today, nobody thinks of it as a particularly efficient country. Yet in 1973, it was able to mint and circulate two different sets of well designed coins. That was after some 5 or 6 years of dictatorship. Usually you would expect a dictatorship to make a country less efficient and more bureaucratic.

I do wonder whether the Series B coins of 1973 had already been designed and minted BEFORE the referendum on the monarchy. The referendum of 1973 was organised by the dictatorship, so they will surely have fixed the results. However, the referendum of 1974, held under democratic conditions, still showed that 69% of the electorate wanted a republic, as compared to the (probably fixed) 89% declared after the previous referendum.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 10:14:58 AM by coffeetime »

Online Figleaf

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Re: Greece 1973: the fascinating story behind Series A and B
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2012, 10:10:02 AM »
Very good story, coffeetime. Some small remarks.

- dates on modern Greek coins are almost always frozen. At best, they show the first year of issue
- values below 1 drachma circulated only rarely, at least in the tourist destinations
- after years of tension, crossing the "border" on Cyprus is now simple for Cypriots and foreigners

It is hard to defend the military, who did so much damage to development and the economy, but I think that at least at first, their intentions were positive. The colonels were not out to enrich themselves. Greece was in constant political turmoil, much of it personality, rather than issue driven. It was not a mistake trying to break through that situation, the mistake was thinking the military could do it. A military regime inevitably leads to abuse and corruption, a lesson still not learned.

By putting these humble coins in their historical context, you added considerable emotional value to them. Thank you.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.