Thursday, 17 March 2011

Christos Lambrakis accused of being ‘mastermind’ behind Makarios coup

This extraordinary story is being reported in the Cyprus version of Kathimerini.

It refers to an accusation made by DIKO MP Zaharias Koulias that the late Christos Lambrakis, Greece’s most well-known media tycoon, owner of the Lambrakis Press Group, one of the most influential political and cultural figures in post-1974 Greece, publisher of To Vima and Ta Nea, as well as 20-plus other weekly and monthly publications, with a large interest in Mega TV, a man with a symbiotic connection to PASOK governments and leading lights throughout the 1980s and 1990s, whose media outlets became bastions of the febrile leftism that plagues Greek politics and society, who, in 1994, was touted as a possible president of Greece, was in fact a close associate of the Greek military junta and, indeed, according to Koulias, was the mastermind behind the coup against Makarios on 15 July, 1974.

Koulias, a member of the parliamentary committee investigating the 1974 events that led to the partition of Cyprus, told the Cypriot parliament today that a document presented to his committee by Haris Vovidis, Makarios’ former personal secretary, revealed that three days before the coup, a meeting of the leaders of the plot against the Cyprus president took place at Christos Lambrakis’ villa on the island of Poros.

Apart from Lambrakis, other attendees were the dictator Demetris Ioannides, his staff officers, the shipowner Giorgos Potamianos (previously accused of funnelling money from Turkish secret services to EOKA B) and, from Cyprus, Nikos Sampson, the EOKA B stalwart, who assumed the presidency of Cyprus after Makarios was toppled.