THE HISTORY: Liberation and Civil wars
On October 12, 1944 Greece was liberated from the Nazis The National Unity government returned from abroad with George Papandreou as prime minister. The situation in the country was critical. The British, who had been given military control of the area by the Allies, demanded the disbanding of the ELAS guerilla army and the surrender of its weapons. Thus, the first phase of the Civil War began on December 3, 1944 and ended in early January 1945 with the defeat of the leftists and the signature of the Varkiza agreement. The mass movement of the left now came under pressure and persecution and thus, in 1946 the tragedy began of a war that cost thousands of lives, with Greek fighting Greek in the mountains and in the cities. It ended in 1949 with the defeat of the "Democratic Army", the armed force of the Greek Communist Party (KKE). Rather than stay in Greece, those of the fighters who survived and tens of thousands of other leftists chose exile in camps In neighboring communist countries and in the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Greece's borders had grown with the annexation in 1948 of the Dodecanese islands which had been occupied from 1911 to 1943 by the Italians from 1943 to 1945 by the Germans and from 1945 to 1948 by the British.
The political life during the 50s and 60s
In 1950, a change came about in Greek political life with the entry into politics of a group of socialists and democrats who were former EAMists and who got together to form a legal party In parliament up to April 21, 1967. From 1950 to 1963 there was a succession of governments formed by liberal and conservative political groupings. From 1963 to 1965 the country was governed by George Papandreou, He was dismissed in July 1965 by the palace which, in order to gain its own ends, drove a wedge into the governing Centre Union party.
The military dictatorship 1967-1974
In 1967 a dictatorship was imposed by a group of army colonels. The political leaders of the conservative, liberal and leftist parties were arrested and thousands of party members and followers were jailed or exiled. A new, popular resistance movement was born which culminated in student uprisings in the Law School of Athens University and In the Polytechnic. The dictatorship of the colonels collapsed in 1914 but not before it had delivered about half the territory of Cyprus to the Turks.
The fall of the dictatorship was followed by a government of National Unity under Constantine Karamanlis who returned from Paris. Free elections were held and Michael Stassinopoulos, an academician and president of the Council of State, was appointed President of the Republic. A plebiscite was held by which the Greek people chose the regime of a Presidential Republic and the first elected president was Constantine Tsatsos, a university professor and academician. He was followed by Constantine Karamanlis, the leader of the New Democracy party. In March 1985 the next elected President was Christos Sartzetakis, a Supreme Court judge and an eminent personality in Greek life, known for his integrity as a judge and as a fighter for democracy. He was followed by Constantinos Karamanlis in 1990. In 1995 Costis Stephanopoulos elected president of Greece .
From 1974 onwards the Greek people devoted all their
efforts to consolidating democracy in the land of its birth and laying the foundations
for a better life. In 1981 Greece became the IOth full member of the European
Union and in 1981 a new party, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), won
the general election and became the governing party. At the present time, after
a series of social reforms, Greece remains ever faithful to the causes of peace
and democracy and continues on Its course of development. It is championing
Balkan cooperation, intercedes in world disputes, undertakes peace initiatives
within the framework of the EC and NATO and is one of the six countries that
have become world-renowned through the "Initiative of the six leaders"
for peace and disarmament.