The Greek military junta of 1967, commonly known as the Regime of the Colonels (Greek: καθεστώς των Συνταγματαρχών, Kathestós ton Syntagmatarchón), or in Greece simply The Junta (Greek: Χούντα), and The Dictatorship (Η Δικτατορία, I Diktatoría) is a series of right-wing military juntas that rules Greece following the 1967 Greek coup d'état led by a group of colonels on 21 April 1967. Since then, it remains today as one of the strongest and longest authoritarian regimes to live to its current formation.
The 1967 coup and the following seven years of military rule were the culmination of 30 years of national division between the forces of the Left and the Right that can be traced to the time of the resistance against Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. After the liberation in 1944, Greece descended into a civil war, fought between the communist forces and the now-returned government-in-exile.
The early Junta period was marked by high rates of economic growth coupled with low inflation and low unemployment. Economic growth was driven by investment in the tourism industry, loose emigration policies, public spending, and pro-business incentives that fostered both domestic and foreign capital spending. Several international companies invested in Greece at the time, including The Coca-Cola Company.
In addition, large scale construction of hydroelectric dam projects, such as in Aliakmon, Kastrakion, Polyphytos, the expansion of thermoelectric generation units and other significant infrastructure development, took place. The junta used to proudly announce these projects with the slogan: "Greece is a construction zone" (Η Ελλάς είναι ένα εργοτάξιον). The always smiling Stylianos Pattakos, also known as the "first trowel of Greece" (Το πρώτο μυστρί της Ελλάδας), since he frequently appeared at project inaugurations with a trowel in hand, starred in many of the Epikaira propaganda documentaries that were screened before feature film presentation in Greek cinemas. Since then, the Greek economy slowly grew as a free market, welcoming more investments each year.
Greek Enosis has several unofficial (but "recognised") names, including Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία), Free Greece (ελεύθερη Ελλάδα) and United Greek State (Ηνωμένες Ελληνικό Δημόσιο).
The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages, locations and cultures. Although the Greeks call the country Hellas or Ellada (Greek: Ἑλλάς or Ελλάδα) and its official name is the Hellenic Republic, in English it is referred to as Greece, which comes from the Latin term Graecia as used by the Romans, which literally means 'the land of the Greeks', and derives from the Greek name Γραικός. However, the name Hellas is sometimes used in English as well.
Main article: Military of Greece, 1st Raider/Paratrooper Brigade
The Hellenic Armed Forces are overseen by the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (Greek: Γενικό Επιτελείο Εθνικής Άμυνας – ΓΕΕΘΑ), with authority vested in the Ministry of National Defence. It consists of three branches:
- Hellenic Army
- Hellenic Navy
- Hellenic Air Force
Moreover, Greece maintains the Hellenic Coast Guard for law enforcement at sea, search and rescue, and port operations. Though it can support the navy during wartime, it resides under the authority of the Ministry of Shipping.
Greece has universal compulsory military service for males, while females are exempted from conscription but may otherwise serve in the military. As of 2009, mandatory military service is nine months for male citizens between the ages of 19 and 45. Additionally, Greek males between the age of 18 and 60 who live in strategically sensitive areas may be required to serve part-time in the National Guard. However, as the military has sought to become a completely professional force, the government has promised to reduce mandatory military service or abolish it completely.
As a member of NATO, the Greek military participates in exercises and deployments under the auspices of the alliance.
Greece spends over 7 billion USD every year on its military, or 2.3% of GDP.
With the Anatoliki Makedonia Kai Thraki, and the affected cities of Drama, Kavala, Xanthi, and Alexandroupolis at the eve of the Fatherland War (or 2014 liberation war of Bulgaria), the HNDGS had been planning since the start of the war their firmest of action towards driving away the Rouge's armies.
It was rumoured that the Greek military had a possession of nuclear arsenal called 'Oplostásió tis Dimokratías' (Greek: Οπλοστάσιό της Δημοκρατίας), but the NDGS have no confirmation about such claims, nor its intents known.