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victoria_89 06-28-2005 06:00 PM

The position of the Royal Family and attitudes to restoration
 
I've looked at a couple of the posts and i'm not exactly sure about what the greek royals postition is ? Are they not involved in Greece ? Do they bassically have no power or anything ?

thanks

Sean.~ 06-28-2005 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by victoria_89
I've looked at a couple of the posts and i'm not exactly sure about what the greek royals postition is ? Are they not involved in Greece ? Do they bassically have no power or anything ?

thanks

They're not officially involved. The ex-King was banned from Greece for years, until the new EU laws came into effect. He took the government to court a couple of years ago for restitution, which didn't exactly endear him to the powers-that-be. He's involved insofar as that he was/is supported by rich Greek shipping families (many, if not all of them,London based, who prospered during the monarchy).

Many within (and ex-pats as well) still harbour strong feelings against him, and the chances of a restoration are nil. Greece is doing well enough without without the monarchy and the monarchy had a very rough ride while it was in existence due to poor leadership and decisions.

Of course, proponents will disagree, but historical facts tend to bear this out. I think I posted on this in detail a year or two ago on this forum. For what it's worth, from what I know Nikolai is well thought of, as is Anne Marie.

grecka 06-28-2005 08:50 PM

The royal family still has some influence in Greece. I'd say maybe around 5% of the entire population is monarchist and I believe a considerable percentage of the population has respect for King Constantine. That said, Greece has moved on in the thiry-five or so years since the overthrow of the monarchy, and I tend to agree with sean that the chance of the restoration of the Greek monarchy to power is miniscule.

Sean.~ 06-28-2005 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grecka
The royal family still has some influence in Greece. I'd say maybe around 5% of the entire population is monarchist and I believe a considerable percentage of the population has respect for King Constantine. That said, Greece has moved on in the thiry-five or so years since the overthrow of the monarchy, and I tend to agree with sean that the chance of the restoration of the Greek monarchy to power is miniscule.

Hi Grecka!!

From what I know, quit a bit of whatever respect he had (not a lot from what I gather, as he was/is viewed by many as a weak ruler who made poor decisions and was too influenced by his mother) was lost by the whole trial imbroglio (and personally, I don't blame them, but that's my position :)). The verdict, although not entirely in Constnatine's favour, did not go down well with the government, and they launched their anti-Constantine 'campaign'.

I read influence as having actual power over policy, whether directly or indirectly, rather than general support for the monarchy as an institution. However, perhaps that's not what the original poster meant, and thus I may have erred.

suturegeisha 06-29-2005 12:19 AM

I tend to wonder about this a lot too.....what's the point?

Thank you for your post, Sean- very informative and enlightening!

branchg 06-29-2005 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grecka
The royal family still has some influence in Greece. I'd say maybe around 5% of the entire population is monarchist and I believe a considerable percentage of the population has respect for King Constantine. That said, Greece has moved on in the thiry-five or so years since the overthrow of the monarchy, and I tend to agree with sean that the chance of the restoration of the Greek monarchy to power is miniscule.

The royal family's influence in Greece is zero and King Constantine is disdained by the majority of the Greek people. The monarchy's history in Greece is not an honorable one and is associated by many with the country's military dictatorship, which executed thousands of people, jailed many political figures and tortured opponents.

The Greeks never really accepted their royal family, which was imposed on them by the Great Powers of France, Russia and the UK in the 1860's, and was imported from Denmark. The Balkan Wars, World War I and World War II greatly weakened successive governments, bankrupted the nation and resulted in numerous periods of exile for the dynasty, who never demonstrated any talent for constitutional monarchy.

King Constantine's parents, King Paul and Queen Frederika were not very popular, particularly the Queen who constantly interfered with politics and manipulated the colonels in the military. By the late 1960's, the U.S. was secretly plotting a coup of the socialist government with the military to secure Greece as a NATO ally. Constantine overestimated his position as king, encouraged by Queen Frederika, and overplayed his hand with the military dictatorship. He was exiled and forced to leave with his family.

Since then, he has been supported mainly by the British and Danish royal families in addition to "gifts" from the corrupt Greek industrialists. The U.S. and the UK have tolerated him living in London over the years, but just barely. Neither of his sons, Pavlos or Nicholas, are taken seriously in Greece and there is no chance of a restoration of the throne.

EU politics allows the family to visit the country now, but they will never be allowed to settle there by the government.

Sean.~ 06-29-2005 12:52 AM

Bingo! Thank you, you nailed it on the head. I guess I was trying to be more tactful. The last time I was blunt about Tino (and especially is predecessors) and the situation, I garnered some not so very nice fan mail...hehehehe.

susan alicia 06-29-2005 01:10 AM

in everything except: " The U.S. and the UK have tolerated him living in London over the years, but just barely. "

that is silly, as long as they remain within the law they must be welcome.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean.~
Bingo! Thank you, you nailed it on the head. I guess I was trying to be more tactful. The last time I was blunt about Tino (and especially is predecessors) and the situation, I garnered some not so very nice fan mail...hehehehe.


Sean.~ 06-29-2005 02:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by susan alicia
in everything except: " The U.S. and the UK have tolerated him living in London over the years, but just barely. "

that is silly, as long as they remain within the law they must be welcome.

Not really. Many countries don't take exiled political leaders for a myriad of reasons, and some only do so reluctantly. It can be politically embarassing. Indeed, he was so persona-non-grata for a while that he couldn't even attend the wedding of his sister-in-law in Denmark because it was felt that his presence would raise the ire of the Danes.

A lot of Greeks who immigrated abroad to UK and US during his parents' appalling tenure don't like him (his mother was literally chased down the streets of London by ex-pats -- she labelled the as socialists -- and had to take refuge in a private house). His illusions of grandeur , poor record of the monarchy, and did his alleged business dealings in the 70s didn't/don't help much. The Greek government has complained to Downing Street regarding him often.

Sean.~ 06-29-2005 03:34 AM

Quote:

Since then, he has been supported mainly by the British and Danish royal families in addition to "gifts" from the corrupt Greek industrialists.
Speaking of corrupt, you can't leave out the former Shah of Iran. It is well known that he helped support Tino while he (the Shah) was in power. And we all know the rumours about Constantine and the Empress (I have it on very good authority that there was something there, around the time of Persopolis).

Sean.~ 06-29-2005 03:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suturegeisha
I tend to wonder about this a lot too.....what's the point?

Thank you for your post, Sean- very informative and enlightening!

You're Welcome! I think branchg was bit more detailed in his reply, though (I was trying to tread carefully).

Love your avtar, by the way.

Warren 06-29-2005 04:24 AM

We do now!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean.~
And we all know the rumours about Constantine and the Empress.

Well Sean, I didn't know, until you mentioned it!

:) :)
W

Sean.~ 06-29-2005 05:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Warren
Well Sean, I didn't know, until you mentioned it!

:) :)
W

It's been discussed here in the past, I'm sure, and on the other boards. IIRC, it's also been published and, of course, much discussed in 'society'.

Splodger 06-29-2005 07:11 AM

Just to really upset things - Whilst being in Greece I have learnt a few interesting things about Greeks attitudes towards Constantine the man, the Monarchy and the Republic.

The King indeed has no involvement in Greek politics, and there is at the moment and foreseable future zero chance of a restoration of the monarchy. However the King is involved privatley in funding welfair issues through the Anna Marie Foundation and in giving the Government endless headaches. He comes and goes quite frequently now and there hasn't been a great deal in the news about his recent visit for the christening of his grandson. However one can only imagine the headache to the government when he turns up with his sister Sophia and other royals who the establishment can hardley cause a fuss over without insulting their respective countries.

Discussing the monarchy in Greece is an interesting activity to observe. When ever the subject is raised, people go quiet... they then look around to see if anyone is nearby... they then lean over and talk very quietly so as not to be over heard about how they like the king and how he is very popular but it isnt something you talk about beacuse the government doesnt like it.

The younger generation have only ever known the Republic and don't really see what the fuss is about. They generaly dont think much of the Government or the Presidents... they see the Presidents as old and out of touch, however restoring the monarchy is not high on their lists of fun things to do in an evening and really dont see what the problem is with letting Constantine live in Greece. The older generations tend to be more romantic about the king. Some do genuinly dislike the monarchy and Constantine, but others still like him very much, but again dont see the point in abolishing the republic and restoring the monarchy for the sake of it.

Republican propiganda is evident in peoples opionions on the matter. Even those who really like the King dont want the monarchy's restoration beacuse they beleive he will cost them money. Of course a change in regime would be unneccesserily expensive, however the fact that Constantine wanted Tatoi and not compensation, the fact the comensation is being used for public good and that a Head of State has the same expenses in State function whether a King or a President in office (although Presidential Election costs would be eliminated) is neither generaly known or considered (as is the case under any monarchy).

All said and given, relations between the current government and Constantine is much more amicable than with previous governments, although this is partly due to the fact that Karamanlis' supporters feature a large proportion of monarchists. Whereas ten years ago Constantine was chassed out of Greek waters by the Navy, the current governments stratagy is to cause and publicise the least amount of fuss about his visits so as not to draw attention to his presence in the country.

It really does seem important to distinguish however monarchists from Constantine fans. Just beacuse people like Constantine does not mean they are pro-monarchy and just because people are pro-rebublican does not mean they dont like Constantine. Equaly those who are pro-monarchy don't neccesserily want Constantine. The Crown and the Man do appear to be seperate issues.

The general consences is they think the government are a bunch of "malakas." Typical to form, the people are still not happy - they think they didnt like the monarchy, they think they dont like the republic... They were glad to see Stephanopolous go beacuse he was old and out of touch but they elect Papoulias who is the same age. In a country who has abolished the monarchy several times and have restored it through popular plesbite later, anything is possible in Greece. Who knows, they may even let the clerics and the church have a go at running the country one day.

The only thing for certain is that public opinion is diverse and it is not a topic that is politley discussed or to any great length. At the end of the day, many like Constantine and many do not. However they have far more pressing issues (and quite rightly) such as the economy to worry about and finding a government administration to do the job than to worry about whether the Head of State should be a King or a President.

susan alicia 06-29-2005 01:16 PM

Qoute: "Discussing the monarchy in Greece is an interesting activity to observe. When ever the subject is raised, people go quiet... they then look around to see if anyone is nearby... they then lean over and talk very quietly so as not to be over heard about how they like the king and how he is very popular but it isnt something you talk about beacuse the government doesnt like it."

Being half greek, and speaking greek fluently I know that the greeks talk about politics when they want and about what they want. They are also not bothered if talking complete nonsense.
The description you give would only be applicable during the Junta but not now.

re the church taking over, that is a joke, 99% of the greeks are practicing greek orthodox (am just guessing) but the respect for the greek clergy is :rolleyes:



Quote:

Originally Posted by Splodger
Just to really upset things - Whilst being in Greece I have learnt a few interesting things about Greeks attitudes towards Constantine the man, the Monarchy and the Republic.

The King indeed has no involvement in Greek politics, and there is at the moment and foreseable future zero chance of a restoration of the monarchy. However the King is involved privatley in funding welfair issues through the Anna Marie Foundation and in giving the Government endless headaches. He comes and goes quite frequently now and there hasn't been a great deal in the news about his recent visit for the christening of his grandson. However one can only imagine the headache to the government when he turns up with his sister Sophia and other royals who the establishment can hardley cause a fuss over without insulting their respective countries.

Discussing the monarchy in Greece is an interesting activity to observe. When ever the subject is raised, people go quiet... they then look around to see if anyone is nearby... they then lean over and talk very quietly so as not to be over heard about how they like the king and how he is very popular but it isnt something you talk about beacuse the government doesnt like it.

The younger generation have only ever known the Republic and don't really see what the fuss is about. They generaly dont think much of the Government or the Presidents... they see the Presidents as old and out of touch, however restoring the monarchy is not high on their lists of fun things to do in an evening and really dont see what the problem is with letting Constantine live in Greece. The older generations tend to be more romantic about the king. Some do genuinly dislike the monarchy and Constantine, but others still like him very much, but again dont see the point in abolishing the republic and restoring the monarchy for the sake of it.

Republican propiganda is evident in peoples opionions on the matter. Even those who really like the King dont want the monarchy's restoration beacuse they beleive he will cost them money. Of course a change in regime would be unneccesserily expensive, however the fact that Constantine wanted Tatoi and not compensation, the fact the comensation is being used for public good and that a Head of State has the same expenses in State function whether a King or a President in office (although Presidential Election costs would be eliminated) is neither generaly known or considered (as is the case under any monarchy).

All said and given, relations between the current government and Constantine is much more amicable than with previous governments, although this is partly due to the fact that Karamanlis' supporters feature a large proportion of monarchists. Whereas ten years ago Constantine was chassed out of Greek waters by the Navy, the current governments stratagy is to cause and publicise the least amount of fuss about his visits so as not to draw attention to his presence in the country.

It really does seem important to distinguish however monarchists from Constantine fans. Just beacuse people like Constantine does not mean they are pro-monarchy and just because people are pro-rebublican does not mean they dont like Constantine. Equaly those who are pro-monarchy don't neccesserily want Constantine. The Crown and the Man do appear to be seperate issues.

The general consences is they think the government are a bunch of "malakas." Typical to form, the people are still not happy - they think they didnt like the monarchy, they think they dont like the republic... They were glad to see Stephanopolous go beacuse he was old and out of touch but they elect Papoulias who is the same age. In a country who has abolished the monarchy several times and have restored it through popular plesbite later, anything is possible in Greece. Who knows, they may even let the clerics and the church have a go at running the country one day.

The only thing for certain is that public opinion is diverse and it is not a topic that is politley discussed or to any great length. At the end of the day, many like Constantine and many do not. However they have far more pressing issues (and quite rightly) such as the economy to worry about and finding a government administration to do the job than to worry about whether the Head of State should be a King or a President.


Sean.~ 06-29-2005 01:53 PM

Quote:

Republican propiganda is evident in peoples opionions on the matter. Even those who really like the King dont want the monarchy's restoration beacuse they beleive he will cost them money. Of course a change in regime would be unneccesserily expensive, however the fact that Constantine wanted Tatoi and not compensation, the fact the comensation is being used for public good and that a Head of State has the same expenses in State function whether a King or a President in office (although Presidential Election costs would be eliminated) is neither generaly known or considered (as is the case under any monarchy).

I think there are other, more substantive reasons for not wanting restoration than simply government "propaganda" relating to cost. People are more intelligent than that=, and base these kinds of decisions on their experiences, freedoms, values, quality of life, etc.

After all, many of them had the misfortune to live under the monarchy. The bottom line is that Greece had a horrible run under the monarchy, and it is doing far better politically, economically, and socially without it. I think most Greeks realize this and thus it would be absurd for them to go back to a system of government that didn't work. In short, they're doing quite well with the system they have.

With respect to the whole compensation issue, he *was* actually seeking compensation (despite claims to the contrary), knowing full well that the properties would not be restored, since the Greek govt. refused to negotiate on the matter with him. His orignal claim was for 316 million British pounds, and it included compensation for the former royal palace, Mon Repos, Tatoi, and Polidendri and thousands of acres. However, he was only partly successful and was awarded only some 8 million British pounds.

The whole foundation thing is propaganda to boost his image and to make him look magnanimous. The fact of the matter is that he took the money from the Greeks (and he was willing to take a lot more), and that he's now 'helping them' with their own money in order to garner attention for himself and to divert attention from the fact that he unsuccessfully tried to take them for more $$$, as he knew fully that he wasn't going to be restored -- ever.

The 'people' would have been better served had the funds remained with the government or given to a welfare NGO within the country. Or if the the whole sorry lawsuit not taken place, or if Constantine had declared a 'moral victory', and had decided not to take a dime.

As far as the costs for a head of state being the same whether a President or King, I would argue that this is not entirely correct. Monarchies are more expensive than republics of the same or similar size.

Frothy 06-29-2005 01:59 PM

He's not "the King". I really don't understand why people are calling him King Constantine and the King. Greece is a Republic. He's ex-King Constantine if you must use the word 'King' at all.

suturegeisha 06-29-2005 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frothy
He's not "the King". I really don't understand why people are calling him King Constantine and the King. Greece is a Republic. He's ex-King Constantine if you must use the word 'King' at all.

I think people use that title out of respect since he *was* the real King for a few years, until he got chased out.
I also don't have any problems with Constantine's kids using the title "Prince" and "Princess" and what have you, after all, their father and mother *were* a king and queen, albeit for a short time.
What confuses me is why Pavlos and Marie-Chantal's kids are called Princes and Princess. That makes no sense. It's like the titles in Germany, I don't understand that either [I guess saying that you're Prince Such-and-Such looks good on your resume?].......:confused:
Yoi.

MoonlightRhapsody 06-29-2005 05:32 PM

I understand that Constantine's parents were highly disliked in Greece and to some extent, Constantine inherited such animosity. My question is, for Constantine's siblings, like Queen Sophia of Spain, are they disliked as much in Greece?

As a newbie in this topic, it seems like that the sins of the father (or parents) are passed on to the son (and children).

Sean.~ 06-29-2005 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suturegeisha
I think people use that title out of respect since he *was* the real King for a few years, until he got chased out.
I also don't have any problems with Constantine's kids using the title "Prince" and "Princess" and what have you, after all, their father and mother *were* a king and queen, albeit for a short time.
by these titles and/or other peop

What confuses me is why Pavlos and Marie-Chantal's kids are called Princes and Princess. That makes no sense. It's like the titles in Germany, I don't understand that either [I guess saying that you're Prince Such-and-Such looks good on your resume?].......:confused:
Yoi.

The German situation is a little different. They weren't chased out, and often there is a long established bond between the former ruling houses and the people of the area. Bavaria is an excellent example of this. Moreover, in Germany the title is actually a part of the last name.

And, no doubt, it does good on the resume & impresses the noveau riche social climbers ;-)


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