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Unrest spreads to military as retired Greek officers storm defence ministry
Date 05/10/2011 13:54  Author webmaster  Hits 817  Language Global
• 05 OCT 2011

By Leigh Phillips | EUobserver

The Greek armed forces now appear to be entering the political and street-level debate in the country over EU- and IMF-imposed austerity, with a group of retired Greek officers storming the defence ministry and the armed forces’ professional organisation issuing a stern warning to the government that the military’s confidence in the “intentions of the state” regarding their pensions has been “shaken”.

Hundreds of retired Greek officers furious at EU-IMF-imposed cuts to their pensions invaded the Ministry of Defence on Friday (30 September), breaking doors and dismantling machinery.

Amid a wider protest of some 2000 officers, around 300 stormed the building as the crowd shouted “down with the Pasok junta” - referring to the governing social democratic party.

Defence minister Panos Beglitis denounced the officers’ actions as “anti-democratic bullying” by “the state within the state” and instructed the prosecutor of the Athens Military Court to conduct a preliminary investigation over whether the group had perpetrated any criminal offences against military institutions.

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