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Broadcasting date: 9-11-2006
Title : THE UNKNOWN RESISTANCE AGAINST THE DICTATORSHIP - Part 1: The Colonels'Conspiracy - Part 2: Greece in Plaster
Subject : GREEK HISTORY

 

Episode 1: "The Colonels' Conspiracy"

ET1 - 22:00pm

 

As the May 1967 elections approach, the Greek Secret Service warns that the "Alliance of the Center” and George Papandreou are the favorites for winning the elections. As American diplomats reveal -amongst them Philip Talbot, who was the ambassador at the time in Athens- king Constantine asked Washington to give him the green light to conduct a coup. Eventually both sides agree on a “act as u go along” policy: if Papandreou won the elections, they would have to re-examine their next moves.

 

This postponement gives Papadopoulos and the colonels the golden opportunity they were looking for, to capture control of the government, with or without the approval of the king. As Nikos Farmakis, a former member of parliament reveals, and as this previously unreleased documents show, already in June 1966 Papadopoulos entrusted Farmakis with the task of supervising a plan of gaining control of Athens. In April 1967 they decided to go forward with a secret meeting, which is described by Stylianos Pattakos.

 

But the agreement between the king and the Americans had been leaked, and in return all parties had quit worrying. Andreas Papandreou, as Margarita Papandreou tells us, started sleeping at his house again. Euagellos Averof, minister of Agriculture at the time, decided to proceed with farmer-friendly laws that would give his party, the conservative ERE, a win at the elections.

 

Nikos Oikonomakos, on the orders of Charilaos Florakis, had set up a mechanism of collecting information that would warn everyone on the chance of a coup. His informant asked for 50.000 drachmas in order to give him crucial information: that a coup was about to happen. But the EDA cash desks were empty because of the acquisition of new furniture. In result, this crucial information was received after the coup. Eventually everyone was arrested in their pajamas. However, on the first day of the coup, major protest demonstrations take place in Giannena and Heraklion.

 

The program features interviews with former agent John Fatseas, a close friend of Papadopoulos, who watched him on behalf of the CIA, George Rallis, who in a long interview narrated how he had tried to mobilize the 3rd army corps, and Antonis Karkagiannis, who talks about the murder of Panagiotis Elis at the race track.

 

 

Episode 2: "Greece in Plaster"

ET1 - 23:55 (Following the News Broadcast)

 

The colonels ban free speech even for young children. In an elementary school in Crete, pupils are asked what happened on April 21. None of the children knew, because their teacher hadn’t told them a thing. But one of the students raised his hand and said that it was the day the dictatorship started and people were imprisoned and tortured. The following day intensive lessons of nationalistic ethics began.

 

The first acts of resistance began the days following the dictatorship. George Votsis recalls the PAM polygraph, Giannis Charalampopoulos talks about the PAK operations, and G. Magkakis recalls how he and Costas Simitis carried bombs. Those who get arrested suffer incredible torture on the roof of the police station at Bouboulinas Str. Mikis Theodorakis, who was arrested under adventurous circumstances, writes songs in his cell about one of those fighters.

 

Amongst those arrested is Manolis Mitsias, a member of the PAM group and friend of Giannis Chalkidis, who is murdered by the junta forces in Thessalonica. Sifis Valirakis’ luck isn’t any better: after his first escape from the ESA he gets arrested at the borders. With his second attempt he manages to swim to Albania, where he is arrested as a spy and is headed to a forced labor camp.

 

Having delayed his own coup as he needed it to be approved first by the USA, king Constantine attempts a poorly planned counter-coup that ends in total failure. As former American diplomat Robert Keeley explains, the king had even selected December 13 as the day for the counter-coup, based on the fact that 13 was his lucky number.

 

 

 

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