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October 9, 1973: Diminutive rightwing politician and historian Spyros Markezinis smiles as he takes the prime minister's position in the front row to the left of Archbishop Hieronymos during a photo-call after the swearing-in ceremony for his 39-member government, appointed by the then ruling military junta in a short-lived attempt to 'liberalise' its dictatorial regime through a tightly controlled transition to civilian rule. Hieronymos is flanked to his right by junta strongman, colonel George Papadopoulos as 'president of the republic', with his army colleague, general Odysseas Angelis, standing next to him as 'vice-president'. Under a new constitution passed by referendum on July 29, Papadopoulos lifted martial law, released all political prisoners and scrapped the military 'revolutionary council' which had governed Greece since the April 1967 coup d'etat, to woo old-guard politicians into endorsing his blueprint for 'liberalisation'. The leaders of outlawed political parties snubbed Papadopoulos' overtures because the new constitution allowed him to retain most of his dictatorial powers for another full seven-year term of his unelected 'presidency'. Markezinis was the only noteworthy veteran of the pre-1967 political establishment to accept the mandate of a caretaker premier ahead of parliamentary elections planned for late 1974. On November 25 he was unceremoniously toppled together with Papadopoulos by disaffected hardliners of the military regime under the shadowy leadership of brigadier Dimitris Ioannidis, head of the dreaded military police (ESA). A week earlier, Markezinis had humiliated himself by 'requesting' Papadopoulos to reimpose martial law in the wake of the November 17 uprising at the Athens Polytechnic

ATHENS NEWS , 04/10/2002, page: A11
Article code: C12982A112


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