Sixteen retired leaders of the country’s armed forces have issued a joint declaration calling on Greeks to show “calm and national unity” in the run-up to Sunday's referendum, insisting: “Greece is and must remain a protagonist in European affairs – Greece is Europe.”
The group includes three former chiefs of the armed forces, nine ex-army chiefs, two former heads of the navy and two former heads of the air force. Among them were retired admirals and generals, who had overseen Greek troop participation in Afghanistan and the Balkans.
In their letter they warn that Greece is at an “extremely critical juncture of its history which requires difficult and painful decisions”.
Since the overthrow in 1974 of Greece’s military junta, military staff have usually declined to speak on politics. But amid fears that economic and political chaos is exposing Greece to external threats, the group added: “The armed forces should be buttressed to maintain combat power, to ... ensure the defence and sovereignty of the country.”Reuse content