The Greek conservative government, battered by a storm of protest, Sunday dropped controversial plans to free from prison 13 military officers who seized power in 1967 and imposed a brutal seven-year dictatorship.
A government announcement said the decision to back down from the pardons of leaders of the 1967-74 right-wing military government was made to avoid “political tension.”
Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis said Friday that he had decided to pardon nearly all the remaining jailed former members of the junta for humanitarian reasons. That provoked cries of outrage from conservatives, Socialists, Communists and other leftists, both in Greece and on the island of Cyprus.
Approval of the pardon had been expected by a government committee this week and by President Constantine Caramanlis, but newspapers reported Sunday that Caramanlis would not sign such a presidential decree. His office would not confirm the reports.