A Top Policymaker in '70s Dictatorship in Greece

08:11 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

Nikolaos Makarezos, 90, one of the leaders of the military dictatorship that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974, has died, according to media reports in Athens.

Mr. Makarezos, the junta's chief economic policymaker who served as deputy prime minister and minister for coordination under dictator George Papadopoulos, died Aug. 3, the To Vima daily newspaper and a major Web site reported, without citing sources. Greek government and military officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr. Makarezos was arrested after the fall of the right-wing dictatorship in 1974 and sentenced to death for treason. The sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. He was released in 1990 because of poor health.

Together with Papadopoulos and Stylianos Pattakos, Mr. Makarezos led the military coup that seized power in a bloodless coup on April 21, 1967. The dictators imposed martial law and cracked down heavily on mostly left-wing political opponents, imprisoning or exiling thousands of people, many of whom were tortured by military police.

The junta was condemned in the West as authoritarian, and the United States temporarily banned arms sales to Greece. But a 1971 visit by Vice President Spiro Agnew, who was of Greek descent, was viewed by many as showing tacit approval of the dictatorship.

After a student pro-democracy uprising that the army crushed violently in November 1974, Papadopoulos tried to slowly introduce some democratic reforms, prompting a second coup by army hard-liners who toppled his government.

Democracy was restored in 1974 after an abortive Athens-backed coup in Cyprus that prompted a Turkish invasion of the Mediterranean island and nearly led to war between Greece and Turkey, which has since occupied the northern third of Cyprus. continues here

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