Letter: Political realities in modern Greece

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The Independent Online
Sir: Leonard Doyle's article ('Unwelcome symbol of a greater Greece', 23 August) gave a disappointingly biased picture of 'what a special people the Greeks are'. The various subjects he refers to are not only tenuously linked, but also need clarification if political reality in Greece today is to be understood.

First, the speculations concerning the former King Constantine's visit to Greece would have greater pertinence if the monarchy had not been conclusively abolished in Greece after the 1975 popular referendum.

Mr Doyle's reference to 'politicians who dream of uniting all ethnic Greeks' in neighbouring countries is completely unfounded. Moreover, the Greek government (and all the political parties) has repeatedly declared that every boundary in the Balkans should remain unchanged.

The somewhat melodramatic description by the author of the judiciary system and prosecution of 'ordinary citizens' gives the false impression of a country under dictatorship. In reality, Greece's standard of human rights and freedom of expression is among the highest in Europe.

Finally, the comments about Greece's treatment of Albanian migrants would have been more balanced if the article had mentioned that one-fifth of the Albanian working population (250,000) lives and works in Greece today, and provides a significant boost to Albania's weak economy.

Yours faithfully,

V. PAPADIMITRIOU

Press Attache

Embassy of Greece

London, W11

24 August

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