Greece’s democracy in danger, warns Demos, as Greek reservists call for coup;

Greece backsliding in democracy in face of joblessness, social unrest, corruption and disillusion with politicians, says thinktank – Published on The Guardian, by Helena Smith in Athens, Sept 26, 2013 – download for free: Democracy in Europe can no longer be taken for granted.

No country has displayed more of a “ackslide in democracy than Greece, the British thinktank Demos has said in a study highlighting the crisis-plagued country’s slide into economic, social and political disarray.  

Released on the same day that judicial authorities ordered an investigation into a blog posting by a group of reservists in the elite special forces calling for a coup d’etat, the study singled out Greece and Hungary for being “the most significant democratic backsliders” in the EU.

“Researchers found Greece overwhelmed by high unemployment, social unrest, endemic corruption and a severe disillusionment with the political establishment,” it said. The report, commissioned by the European parliament, noted that Greece was the most corrupt state in the 28-nation bloc and voiced fears over the rise of far-right extremism in the country.

The report was released as the fragile two-party coalition of the prime minister, Antonis Samaras, admitted it was worried by a call for a military coup posted overnight on Wednesday on the website of the Special Forces Reserve Union. “It must worry us,” said a government spokesman, Simos Kedikoglou. “The overwhelming majority in the armed forces are devoted to our democracy,” he said. “The few who are not will face the consequences.”

With tension running high after a crackdown on the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, a supreme court public prosecutor demanded an immediate inquiry into who may have written the post, which called for an interim government under “the guarantee of the armed forces”.

The special forces reservist unit whose members appeared in uniform to protest against a visit to Athens by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel said Greece should renege on the conditions attached to an international bailout and set up special courts to prosecute those responsible for its worst financial crisis in modern times. Assets belonging to German companies, individuals or the state should be seized to pay off war reparations amassed during the Nazi occupation … //

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Links:

special pages of The Guardian with related Articles: Greece; Golden Dawn party; Financial Crisis;

Special Forces Reservists Want Government Out, on Greek Reporter, by Andy Dabilis, Sept 26, 2013.

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