In October, Greek officers stormed defence ministry
Note: this article is not dated from November as I had thought when I originally posted this. It is actually an event from early October, 30 days ago. I have changed the headline to reflect this.
The Greek armed forces now appear to be entering the political and street-level debate in the country over EU- and IMF-imposed austerity, with a group of retired Greek officers storming the defence ministry and the armed forces’ professional organisation issuing a stern warning to the government that the military’s confidence in the “intentions of the state” regarding their pensions has been “shaken”.
Hundreds of retired Greek officers furious at EU-IMF-imposed cuts to their pensions invaded the Ministry of Defence on Friday (30 September), breaking doors and dismantling machinery.
Amid a wider protest of some 2000 officers, around 300 stormed the building as the crowd shouted “down with the Pasok junta” – referring to the governing social democratic party.
I have been willing to dismiss the rumours that Greece was forestalling a military coup. Others have since said the change in top brass is standard protocol for a Greek government preparing for its potential loss of power and that the changeover had already been decided upon previously. Nevertheless, it is clear that the military is also in a state of uproar over the austerity and depression.
Rumours on European newswires were that MPs were gathering signatures to force Papandreou to step down immediately. The BBC has now reported that Papandreou is expected to hand in his resignation.