Presentation by Sappho Xenakis to the ELIAMEP Research Seminar, Athens, on 28 September 2009.

Abstract of Presentation

Britain and the US have played a central role in shaping the institutions and outlook of the modern Greek state, from its inception in the early 1800s to the establishment of its modern police force and intelligence service between the 1940s and 1960s-70s.

From what had been its predominant position in the domestic security regime of Greece, British involvement dropped significantly after World War Two, while US engagement peaked during the period of the Greek junta (1967-74). Thereafter, when democratisation brought the first socialist Greek government into office, relations between Greece and the US in particular were considerably cooled. The Greek government of the 1980s courted the popular vote by wielding a Tiers Mondialiste discourse and a confrontational public stance against the traditional security influence exerted by the US in Greece. Regardless of the apparent difficulties of the US-Greek relationship, however, it was in this period that the seeds were sown of more extensive and scarcely less controversial anti-terrorist co-operation between the two states.