Greece in the 1980s: A correspondent remembers

The early 1980s were a good time to be a foreign correspondent in Greece, as long as you were thick-skinned, adaptable and had a sense of humor. The early, passionate days of Andreas Papandreou's leadership gave us plenty of material.

Whether he was embracing Muammar Gaddafi or Yasser Arafat, or sending shocking messages to his partners in NATO or the European Union, he made colorful copy. Our editors were intrigued by the Californian professor who become an anti-American firebrand and threatened to remove Greece from the Western alliance at the very moment when superpower tensions were reaching a dangerous climax.

Among most correspondents, ranging from veteran reporters with memories of the junta to newly arrived youngsters like me, there was an initial feeling that we should give the PASOK government the benefit of the doubt. I was young and inexperienced, just 24...

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