Greece – Will there be a coup?

Such is the depth of the financial crisis in Greece that the replacement of Greek generals by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was enough to set off speculation of a coup d’├ętat plot.

Though the speculation is understandable given the recent history of Greece, what is the likelihood of a coup? Would a coup succeed?

While it’s possible that there has been chatter amongst the ‘Colonel Blimps‘ of the Greek military, this is Greece 2011 not the Greece of 1967.

Any coup attempt would be met with fury by the Greek masses who are well organised and determined. Soldiers, themselves and their families facing deteriorating living standards, would have little incentive to support the generals. After all, what can these Generals offer that is any better than austerity with hobnailed boots? These reasons alone are enough make a coup attempt look very unlikely.

There is no doubt that Greece is entering new and deeper stage of crisis and instability. In the face of this crisis the Greek elite are suffering from vacillation and indecision. They lurch from one idea to the next, should there be a referendum or not? Should there be early elections or not? Should there be a government of ‘National Responsibility’ or not? All of these dilemmas are reflected in the splintering and infighting of the main political parties.

It looks to be only a matter of days before the Papandreou government falls. Unfortunately, there appears little in the way of a viable alternative from organisations on the left. There is every chance a right wing government could be voted in as a punishment for the austerity programme imposed by PASOK on the Greek working and middle classes.

The opposition to austerity will not stop with a new government, whether it’s elected or a cobbled together coalition…