The “Greece 2021” social media account reproduced an excerpt of an article by Professor Aristides Hatzis that viciously attacked the great Ioannis Kapodistrias, one of Greece’s greatest independence heroes, provoking an angry reaction, Pentapostagma reported.
Greece 2021 is the committee in charge of leading Greece’s 200 year independence anniversary and celebrations in 2021.
So who was Kapodistrias?
The Corfu-born Kapodistrias was a Foreign Minister of the Russian Empire, united Switzerland, and then was elected as the first head of independent Greece which he served from 1827 until his assassination in 1831. He is recognised as the founder of Modern Greece.
Although while in service in Russia, he initially opposed the conspiracy to begin a Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire believing it would end in “calamity.”
The outbreak of the revolution in 1821 shocked him, and he continually petitioned for Russia to support the uprising. Becoming frustrated that Moscow condemned the revolution, he left the service of the Russian Empire in 1822. He then worked towards European support for the revolution, which he was eventually successful in, with Russia then even joining the fray to support Greece after a long insistence of refusal.
Historian David Brewer described Kapodistrias as “an intense workaholic, a driven man and an ascetic bachelor who worked from dawn until late at night without a break, a loner whom few really knew well.”
Among those who rushed to protest and express their annoyance was New Democracy MP, Konstantinos Bogdanos.
Διαβάζουμε εδώ ότι ο Καποδίστριας κήρυξε «δικτατορία». Και πιο κάτω αποκαλείται «δικτάτορας», που του αντιστάθηκαν οι «δημοκρατικοί και φιλελεύθεροι Έλληνες».
Καμία επιστημονική άποψη δεν φιμώνεται. Είναι όμως αυτή η επιλογή λέξεων κατάλληλη για μια Επιτροπή που λέει πως ενώνει; https://t.co/Ci8Bx3RSAz
— constantinosbogdanos (@bogdanosk) May 4, 2020
“We read here that Kapodistrias declared a “dictatorship”. And below he is called a “dictator,” who was resisted by the “democratic and liberal Greeks”. No scientific view is silenced. But is this choice of words appropriate for a committee that says it unites?” Konstantinos Bogdanos wondered.
The text of “Greece 2021” about Kapodistrias says:
“As he considers the Constitution of Troezen to be a particularly dangerous razor, he essentially suspends it and declares it a dictatorship. This is the end of the First Greek Republic. But the democratic and liberal Greeks did not give up.”
(2/4) Καθώς λοιπόν θεωρεί ιδιαίτερα επικίνδυνο ξυράφι το Σύνταγμα της Τροιζήνας, το αναστέλλει & κηρύσσει ουσιαστικά δικτατορία. Αυτό είναι το τέλος της Πρώτης Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας. Όμως οι δημοκρατικοί και φιλελεύθεροι Έλληνες δεν το έβαλαν κάτω.
— Greece 2021 (@Greece_2021) May 4, 2020
Their tweets then say:
“They continued to fight for democracy and rights. Neither the modernising dictatorship of Kapodistrias, nor the Bavarians, nor the foreign powers could force them to tolerate an authoritarian regime. With struggles & blood they succeeded in 1844 making Greece the first state in the world to establish the universal suffrage of men & in 1864 one of the first liberal parliamentary democracies in Europe.”
(4/4) Με αγώνες & αίμα κατόρθωσαν το 1844 να κάνουν την Ελλάδα το πρώτο κράτος στον κόσμο που καθιερώνει την καθολική ψηφοφορία των ανδρών & το 1864 μία από τις πρώτες φιλελεύθερες κοινοβουλευτικές δημοκρατίες της Ευρώπης». Απόσπασμα από άρθρο του @AristidesHatzis στο @Andro_gr.
— Greece 2021 (@Greece_2021) May 4, 2020
It cannot be understood how Kapodistrias resembled anything close to a “dictator” and his governance an “authoritarian regime.”
The short governance of Kapodistrias turned the First Greek Republic into what was a previously forgotten, underdeveloped and backwater area of the Ottoman Empire into a modern state with schools, a university and democracy.
Along with education institutions, Kapodistrias turned the Greek militias into a professional and modern military force, established Greece’s first Military Academy, orphanage and hospitals, and even modern European agricultural methods.
Under his leadership, he also expanded Greece’s borders into Central Greece.
Kapodistrias saw Greece enter the 20th Century after 400 years of Ottoman occupation, and any announcement by the committee that is supposedly leading Greece’s 200 year independence celebration that he was a dictator and authoritarian is historical revisionism on one of Greece’s greats.