Greek PM: Polytechneio Symbolizes People’s Need for More Democracy



polytechnic_uprisingThe Polytechneio uprising does not fade from memory because it symbolizes people’s need and will for more democracy, said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday.
Tsipras’ speech in parliament was for the 43rd anniversary of the Polytechneio uprising, the culmination of Greek people’s revolt against the military junta on November 17, 1973.

“Today’s challenges against democracy do not have the same brutality but they are far more complex,” Tsipras said, adding that the need for democracy is everlasting.

“No one could imagine that the military regime would fall and pave the way for democracy. Since then, Greece is experiencing its longest democratic period in modern history,” Tsipras said, adding that “throughout these years, the Athens Polytechnic uprising in November 1973, remains a constant reference.”

The prime minister connected the Polytechneio uprising and revolutionary struggle of the time to his administration’s efforts for justice, dignity and transparency.

 Tsipras used a lot the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama in his speech. “Our country has already earned the respect of the international community, as demonstrated by the visit of the U.S. President. Our country has become synonymous with of humanism and solidarity, “he said.
The prime minister also stressed Obama’s belief that Greece’s creditors should offer debt relief in order for the Greek economy to recover. He added that Greece is at the end of a long road toward the end of recession and growth.
The Polytechneio uprising and the events that followed 
The uprising began on November 14, 1973, escalated to an open anti-junta revolt inside the building of the National Technical University of Athens (Polytechneio) and surrounding streets. It ended in bloodshed in the early morning of November 17 after a series of events starting with a tank crashing through the gates of Polytechneio.
Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannides, a disgruntled Junta hardliner, used the uprising as a pretext to re-establish public order, and staged a counter-coup that overthrew dictator George Papadopoulos on November 25.
Military law was reinstated, and the new Junta appointed General Phaedon Gizikis as President, and economist Adamantios Androutsopoulos as Prime Minister, although Ioannides remained the real chief, according to popular belief.
Ioannides’ abortive coup attempt on July 15, 1974 against Cyprus President Archbishop Makarios III, to annex the island with Greece, was met by Turkey’s invasion on July 20 and subsequent occupation of the northern part of Cyprus.