1960s

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Events and trends

Post-World War II recovery in Greece started in the late 1950s and by the 1960s, progress was taking place in leaps and bounds. Many of the streets in the Athens - Piraeus area were first paved in the 1960s and older buildings were being routinely torn down in favour of apartment houses for an ever-growing urban population. Trade with the Arab world also contributed to the prosperity that characterised the decade.

On the negative side, military expeditures increased as Greece faced two serious crises with Turkey over Cyprus. The first, started in November of 1963 and continued throughout most of 1964. PM Georgios Papandreou responded by sending a heavily-armed division to the island - which cost him his annual budget for that year. The second was relatively short-lived in 1967 but the cost for Cypriots would be immeasurably higher as Greece had to withdraw the division with very little to show for it.

As the crises in Cyprus developed, Greeks of Istanbul were being expelled by Turkish authorities often with their properties expropriated.

King Paul of Greece died in 1964 and was replaced by King Constantine II, however, the influence of Queen Mother Frederika did not seem to wane...

The event, however, which would mark the decade for most people who lived through it, was the coup d'etat of April 21, 1967 which established a dictatorship in Greece for the first time since the Ioannis Metaxas dictatorship of the 1930s.

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