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Koumantos, Georgios

Professor at the athens law school

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Kathimerini - Greece | 23/04/2007

Georgios Koumantos on dictatorship

Last Saturday, April 21st, marked the 40th anniversary of the coup d'Etat led by a group of colonels in Greece. Georgios Koumantos, professor of Law, looks back on the seven year dictatorship that ensued. "The many evils sown by the dictatorship have often been mentioned, the gravest among them being the irreparable damage caused to Cyprus. Unintentionally, however, the architects of the coup also did some good by accelerating the course of history: The abolition of monarchy, the introduction of modern Greek, the legalization of all political parties, ... – changes that would have otherwise taken decades. By resorting to violence and torture, a dictatorship excludes itself from the political. For that reason, it does not deserve any tolerance whatsoever. It must be rejected out of hand, without any terms or conditions. It is from this starting point that one must discuss the best way to overturn or undermine it. One tactic can be asserting one's presence in public life with the aim of exhausting whatever narrow space of tolerance is allowed (and which is usually for show)."

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