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angle-left null 1969 - Greece withdraws
Event's background
Building Unity in Europe
12 December 1969

Greece withdraws

Greece Greece

In April 1967 a group of army officers seized power in Greece in a coup d’état, setting up a military government commonly know as the Regime of the Colonels, lasting seven years. The generals oversaw a system of military courts, practised torture and effectively banned democratic parties and elections. Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden lodged a case before the Human Rights Commission, which was then the first stage in the process of bringing a case to the Court, complaining that Greece was violating the rights protected by the Convention. In January 1968 the Parliamentary Assembly agreed “that if Greece intends to remain a Member of the Council of Europe, she will have to return without delay to a regime which is democratic and parliamentary and respectful of human rights and fundamental freedoms.” Greece opted to leave in December 1969, returning after democracy had been restored in 1974.