GREECE: Fresh Try at Democracy

Modern Greeks still like to refer to their country as the cradle of democracy, but in fact Greek politics has rarely reflected Attica's ancient heritage. Scarcely had Greece won its independence from the Turks in the 1820s when the infant republic ended in a presidential assassination. The great powers protecting the new nation promptly imposed an absolutist King from Bavaria. Ever since, Greece's political history has seesawed between short periods of volatile republicanism and longer ones of oppressive authoritarianism.

Last week Greeks seemed to be willing to try—for the moment—a new constitution that strikes a delicate balance between the two. The...

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