The Ghost of the Colonels
February 29, 2012 8:50 AM   Subscribe

Adam Curtis on The legacy of the Colonels Coup - "What is forgotten is that from 1967 to 1974 the Greek people lived under a harsh and violent dictatorship that tortured and murdered thousands of ordinary people. The Colonels also corrupted the society by handing out vast loans to individuals in towns and villages across the country - to buy their loyalty. At the same time the repression and torture bred a powerful resistance that finally burst out in incredible bravery in 1973."

WARNINGS: ADAM CURTIS, Copious Smoking like you would not believe (seriously, do not watch if you are trying to/have just quit), Nana Mouskouri Glasses.
posted by marienbad (12 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Bonus: (via Auntie) If Britain Were Greece - how Greek austerity measures would impact the UK.
posted by marienbad at 8:52 AM on February 29, 2012

Great footage, thanks for this.
posted by steinsaltz at 10:21 AM on February 29, 2012

marienbad: "Bonus: (via Auntie) If Britain Were Greece - how Greek austerity measures would impact the UK."

Stop posting porn for David Cameron!
posted by symbioid at 11:18 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also Greece works more hours than Germans (not that that's a good thing per se; it just belies the claims of "lazy Greeks").
posted by symbioid at 11:22 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

@Marienbad: There is a video of a greek singer my friend sent me - for the song - and the painist is a legend, he plays dancing about, has an enormous bushy grey beard, and smokes a pipe that fills the whole room with smoke. And it's a modern popsong!
posted by maiamaia at 11:35 AM on February 29, 2012

symbioid, the claim has not been "lazy Greeks", it has been tax avoiding Greeks who expect a comprehensive state welfare system. Are you now going to provide data to show Greeks pay more tax than Germans?
posted by wilful at 2:55 PM on February 29, 2012

I just read This Time Is Different, a book about financial crises, including crises set off by sovereign defaults. One I wasn't aware of was how the Bolsheviks in Soviet Russia simply refused to honor the debt incurred by the Russian czars. If a big portion of Greek debt was incurred under dictatorship, then I can imagine that a lot of Greeks legitimately feel that they shouldn't have to pick up the tab.
posted by jonp72 at 3:01 PM on February 29, 2012

The father of an ex-GF of mine helped organize a ship to broadcast pro-democracy messages into Greece from international waters back in the day.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:27 PM on February 29, 2012

I first learned about this era when the NYT Sunday Magazine published a long excerpt from Oriana Fallacci's book "A Man", which is about Alexander Papadopoulis, who attempted to assassinate the head of the regime. I must have been about 14 or 15, and I knew that terrible things happen in the world, but it was really shocking to me. All I knew about Greece then was that it was where Western Culture began.

Around that same time, my mother was involved with Amnesty International, and she told me about a screening of the film Your Neighbor's Son, which depicts how young police or military recruits were turned into torturers, that she saw at an AI meeting. One would like to think that every society is inoculated against allowing fascist dictatorships by knowledge of what happened under the Nazis, but it is not so.
posted by thelonius at 5:51 PM on February 29, 2012

Wilful, based on federal percentage levied, the Greeks actually do pay more (as a percentage) then the Germans. So yes?
posted by Chipmazing at 10:35 PM on February 29, 2012

Chipmazing, tax is 29% of Greece's GDP, 37% of Germany's.

In Greece, the retirement age for 'hazardous' occupations is 55 for men, 50 for women. Hazardous occupations included hairdresser and radio announcer. The average retirement age in Greece is 61, and pensions are 70% of your final wage.

While I do accept that Greece has had severe internal political stresses, and that politicians have in part bought their way out of them, there is also a simple rank corruption in the Greek political system, where they think that they can have what they truly cant afford. The Colonels were almost 40 years ago, that excuse is getting a bit old.
posted by wilful at 3:11 PM on March 1, 2012

sorry, had to google that one ... hairdressers out, cheesemakers in. Not sure about radio announcers.
posted by knoxg at 3:00 AM on March 6, 2012

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