Thursday, November 3, 2011
The Return of George II of Greece
Personally, I have nothing but admiration for the Greek Royal Family and marvel at their enduring patriotism and love for their country, even when it has turned its back on them. Given the modern history of Greece, even simply during the time of the current dynasty, I doubt few could blame them if they were to throw up their hands and, as King Amadeus I of Spain said of that country, declare the Greeks to be “ungovernable”. However, they have consistently ignored the slights of the government, the snide remarks of the biased media and always continued to voice their support for the Greek people, their optimism that the situation can always be saved and, perhaps most importantly, to remind the Greeks and the world of the best aspects of the Greek people and Greek civilization. The fact that they remain engaged and remain supportive, standing by their people, I think is commendable and only reveals what an absurd lie is the constant media portrayal of the Greek Royal Family, not just today but for decades past, as insufficiently “Greek”.
The “style” of the Metaxas government certainly put off many people. In fact, those who could not see beyond the patriotic organizations, youth groups and Roman salutes were convinced that Greece was going the way of Fascist Italy and they continued in this ignorance practically until Mussolini’s troops marched across the Greek border. It is important to remember as well that Greece was another country (one of many) which felt cheated by the outcome of World War I. They had fought amongst themselves over the conflict and once drastic measures were taken to join the Allied side, Greece was promised considerable territorial gains at the expense of Bulgaria and Turkey. The Allies, however, did little to fulfill these promises and when the Greeks tried to take matters into their own hands they were given barely token support and were humiliatingly defeated by the Turks -their most long-standing enemy. Given all of this, what happened after the restoration of King George II should not come as a surprise just as it should not be surprising, given the constant political chaos, that many came to view liberal democracy with contempt.