chapter  1
16 Pages

Southern European Transitions in Comparative Perspective

During 1974 and 1975 Southern Europe was shaken by the overthrow of military dictatorships. On April 25, 1974, the nearly 50-year-old Portuguese regime, initiated by coup in 1926 and sustained under Antonio de Oliveira Salazar and Marcello Caetano, fell to progressive elements in the armed forces long disenchanted with the debilitating colonial wars in Africa and desiring change at home. On July 24, the seven-year-old military Greek junta fell, the consequence of an abortive intervention in Cyprus and dis­ illusionment among both bourgeois and popular classes. A year later began the gradual dismantling of the regime of Francisco Franco, who had ruled since victorious in the Spanish civil war in 1939.