In a television speech broadcast in Greece on Friday (6 December), the exiled King Constantine pledged to safeguard the unity of the nation, which, he said, was the prerequisite for the country's survival.
CU Announcer on Greek TV
SV Family group listening to speech
CU Constantine speaking on television
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CU Constantine speaking on TV and family listening (3 shots)
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Background: In a television speech broadcast in Greece on Friday (6 December), the exiled King Constantine pledged to safeguard the unity of the nation, which, he said, was the prerequisite for the country's survival.
The speech was broadcast only two days before a referendum to decide whether Greece should be a monarchy or a presidential republic. The nationwide broadcast was taped in the United Kingdom, where the exiled king is living with his family.
The monarchy was abolished by the former Greek military Government because "the dictatorship was convinced that it was not possible -- the coexistence of totalitarian viclence and the perpetuation of slavery with the free institution of crowned democracy", the King told the nation.
In Greece itself the campaign for and against restoring the monarchy has hotted up as Sunday's (8 December) referendum approaches. All the opposition parties in the Greek Parliament have some out against restoration, while Premier Constantine Karamanlis's New Democracy Party has remained neutral on the issue. Royalist groups have conducted a strong campaign throughout the country to swing votes in favour of King Constantine's return, but an opinion poll published in the capital, Athens, recently predicted that the nation would come out heavily against the monarchy.