George Papadopoulos

Papadopoulos, George (Georgios Papadopoulos)päˌpədŏpˈəlĭs, 1919–99, Greek colonel and political leader. A career army officer, he was the strongman of the military junta that seized power in Greece in Apr., 1967. At first Papadopoulos took the post of minister to the premier, but following King Constantine II's abortive coup in Dec., 1967, he assumed the premiership and resigned his army commission. Ruling by decree, Papadopoulos imprisoned opponents and thwarted several attempts to overthrow him, including one by naval officers in May, 1973. He narrowly missed assassination in Aug., 1968. In June, 1973, Papadopoulos established a republic, assumed the presidency, and tried unsuccessfully to acquire democratic legitimacy for his new regime. He was overthrown in Nov., 1973, by a junta of military hard-liners, which itself collapsed in July, 1974. With the restoration of constitutional government, Papadopoulos was tried for treason and insurrection and sentenced to life imprisonment.

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