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In the first elections after the Greek Civil War in 1950, the Liberals were elected, who with Plastiras and Venizelos ruled the country democratically for two years. Under pressure from the Americans, the electoral law was changed so that the right-wing Synagermos Party came to power under Papagos. Now the so-called leaden years followed. Greece was ruled by the right, democracy was reduced to an absolute minimum. After Papagos' death in 1955, K. Karamanlis became the new Prime Minister. Although he brought the country forward economically, democracy continued to suffer, and massive fraud was seen in the 1961 elections. After a brief democratic interlude from 1963 to 1965 under the government of Georgios Papandreou, which ended in 1965 with an intervention by the king, absolute chaos prevailed until the military coup on April 21, 1967. A clique of colonels led by Georgios Papadopoulos came to power and ruled Greece dictatorially for the next seven years. This junta, in turn, was overthrown in November 1973 by Ioannidis, head of the military police, who in the summer of 1974 attempted to impose the so-called Enosis, the forced annexation of Cyprus to Greece, with a coup d'état that ended with the Turkish invasion and division of the island. In Greece the regime collapsed and Karamanlis returned to power.
Heinz A. Richter vividly depicts the unsettled developments in Greece between 1950 and 1974 and gives a comprehensive overview of the struggle between democracy and dictatorship after the civil wars.
This study is the revised English language edition of Peleus 60: Griechenland 1950-1974 zwischen Demokratie und Diktatur which appeared in 2013.