Unrest spreads to military as retired Greek officers storm defence ministry
BY LEIGH PHILLIPS
The Greek armed forces now appear to be entering the political and street-level debate in the country over EU- and IMF-imposed austerity, with a group of retired Greek officers storming the defence ministry and the armed forces’ professional organisation issuing a stern warning to the government that the military’s confidence in the “intentions of the state” regarding their pensions has been “shaken”.
Hundreds of retired Greek officers furious at EU-IMF-imposed cuts to their pensions invaded the Ministry of Defence on Friday (30 September), breaking doors and dismantling machinery.
Amid a wider protest of some 2000 officers, around 300 stormed the building as the crowd shouted “down with the Pasok junta” – referring to the governing social democratic party.
Defence minister Panos Beglitis denounced the officers’ actions as “anti-democratic bullying” by “the state within the state” and instructed the prosecutor of the Athens Military Court to conduct a preliminary investigation over whether the group had perpetrated any criminal offences against military institutions.