BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 



The BBC's Justin Webb
"Constantine won a multi million dollar ruling"
 real 28k

Thursday, 23 November, 2000, 15:19 GMT
Ex-King Constantine wins palaces fight
Ex-king Constantine of Greece
Ex-King Constantine : "Extremely grateful" for the ruling
Ex-King Constantine of Greece has won a case against the Greek Government in his fight to recover confiscated royal estates.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that the former king's right to enjoy peaceful possession of his property had been violated.

Constantine, who brought the case with his sister, Princess Irene, and his aunt, Princess Ekaterini, said he was "extremely grateful" for the decision.

In 1994, the Greek Government confiscated three estates without offering compensation.

Ruling

The judges considered the Tatoi, Polydendri and Mon Repos estates to be owned by Constantine and his family in their capacity as private citizens and not as members of the Greek royal family.

Ex-King Constantine
1964 : crowned king
1967 : flees Greece after military coup - property confiscated
1979 : confiscation overturned
1994 : property re-confiscated by new socialist government
2000 : wins case against government in Strasbourg

They rejected the Greek Government's argument that Constantine's ancestors had obtained the property under dubious circumstances.

The former king and the government must now reach an agreement on compensation.

Early indications from the government suggest it is unlikely they will return the property and will instead aim for a financial settlement.

Constantine is claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

Long history

The property had already changed hands several times before its seizure by the government in 1994.

The 1967-74 military junta was the first to take possession of the property. Though the royals were offered compensation they did not claim it.

In 1979 the confiscation was overturned.

But in 1994, a new socialist government took the property back again, this time without any compensatory offer.

Since then, Constantine has been fighting to get the estates back.

Constantine left Greece in 1967 after a military coup and has been living in London ever since.

In a referendum after the fall of the military regime, Greeks decided to abolish the monarchy.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

18 Feb 99 | Europe
Ocalan fallout hits Greece
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories