Prospects for Democracy in Greece
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The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 9 Oct 1969, p. 41-58


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Papandreou, Professor Andreas, Speaker
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The current situation in Greece, and its intimate relationship to the European problem and to the European fate. Greece now a part of a totalitarian syndrome. Some recent history, including the United States' intervention in 1947. Events in both Greece and in America, that set the tone for what followed. The speaker's involvement in political events.
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9 Oct 1969
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English
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The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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Full Text
OCTOBER 9, 1969
Prospects for Democracy in Greece
AN ADDRESS BY Professor Andreas Papandreou, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, YORK UNIVERSITY AND CHAIRMAN OF THE PANHELLENIC LIBERATION MOVEMENT
CHAIRMAN The President, H. Ian Macdonald

MR. MACDONALD:

I suppose that worse things can happen than having your name misspelled, although surely nothing is more annoying; as a Macdonald, I know that well. Through an unfortunate lapse on the part of our printers, our guest today has been introduced to you by mail as Andreas Papandreau, spelled eau, rather than Papandreou, eou. I had not realized that the objectives of the Official Languages Act would be implemented so quickly in Toronto, and that a good Anglo-Saxon name like "Papandreou" would become Gallic overnight. Perhaps it is a residue, Sir, of your period of residency in France but I will watch with interest, when the mail arrives tomorrow, to see if the name of our next speaker, the Honourable Jean Chretien is spelled without the accent over the "e" and in a form such as Creten. If so, you will undoubtedly interpret it as our attempt at a fair exchange between the French and the Greeks. May I apologize to you, Sir, for our error.

A close scrutiny of the map of Greece reveals two striking characteristics: the enormous areas taken up by mountains, and the deep penetration of the sea which shatters the land into a constellation of islands. Perhaps there is some symbolism in its geography, for the history of Greek thought has been a story of scaling great heights and, at the same time, a process of carrying a fundamental message of democracy to the four corners of the world.

Surely, there is no more beautiful sight than the Acropolis at sunset with the gathering shadows of the Parthenon stretching out in ever-lengthening fingers across the city of Athens. Yet, there are those who suggest that other shadows are now cast over Greek democracy. Aristotle wrote in his Politics: "But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good." Does that condition apply in modern Greece? This very cradle of freedom has not only been rocked, but also devastated countless times since the days of Athenian democracy, and yet, that spirit lives on still with our speaker today--one of its principal torchbearers.

I would not presume to pass judgment on the current politics of Greece. Indeed, the very purpose of inviting Professor Papandreou to address us today is to permit us to gain some insight to the affairs of that troubled nation. It has become clear, however, that a significant segment of the Greek population is prepared to risk everything in seeking fulfillment of its interpretation of "a just society". As our speaker suggested recently to the Sunday Times, of London: "So far as I and all Greek exiles are concerned, we must dedicate ourselves to the overriding task of liberating our land."

Of the many who feel that fundamental freedom is lacking in modern Greece, one, in particular, has undertaken great personal risk in insisting that such is the case Professor Andreas Papandreou. For our part, whatever the justness of his cause, I believe we should be proud that Canada has provided the atmosphere of freedom and tolerance within which he can direct the activities of PAK the Panhellenic Liberation Movement or international Greek Resistance--of which he is Chairman.

Professionally, Mr. Papandreou possesses that potent union of law and economics which can best be described as a combination of the approach that leaves no stone unturned while contemplating whether they are worth moving in the first place. His law degree was taken in Greece and his Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard, following which he served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-46. I wonder if you would feel as strongly, Sir, about the military takeover in Greece if it had not been the Army that carried out the coup? Or, has the military trinity in Greece also been converted to a unitarian force?

Subsequently, he was professor at Harvard, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, the University of California, where he was Chairman of the Department at Berkeley prior, I hasten to add, to the uprisings in that seat of learning, and finally, in the University of Stockholm. He founded and directed the Centre of Economic Research in Greece, with the assistance of the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and then entered Greek politics in 1964. Elected to Parliament, he was Minister of State and Minister of Economic Co-ordination under his father, Prime Minister Papandreou. When the military junta took over on April 21, 1967, he was jailed until given amnesty on December 24, 1967, a liberation arranged by the personal intervention of President Johnson of the United States. He went first to France, then to Sweden and finally to Canada, in August 1969, to become Professor of Economics at York. May I suggest that the students of York University are fortunate indeed to be taught by a Professor of Economics who has been a practitioner in government. I would hope, Sir, that you will find opportunities to contribute to the great public debates on economic policy in Canada today. Greek literature and Canadian economics have one thing in common--a reverence for mythology. We wish you well in your new Odyssey.

Gentlemen, I present a Professor for whom the subject "Prospects for Democracy in Greece" is no mere matter of academic interest, but a personal search and a burning mission.

PROFESSOR PAPANDREOU:

Mr. Chairman, I must thank you for a moving introduction. May I also say that it gives me truly great pleasure to address your Club today. While everyone is entitled to his ideas about what constitutes the limits of action on behalf of the ideal of freedom, I know that this Club has stood traditionally for human liberty and free expression.

I have come, then, to talk about the Greek story, a story which by now is known, I should think, by all of you in its general outline, and to point out its intimate relationship to the European problem and to the European fate. So my thesis will be very simply that Greece was the first democracy in Western Europe, but it may well not be the last. It is now a part of a totalitarian syndrome to which we must all awake and act before it is too late.

I shall try to give you the facts as coldly and as objectively as I can, the facts that have emerged concerning the Greek coup. But before I give you the facts of the coup, as we know them now, I will give you the political background of the coup in a few words.

I do not want to dig very far into the political history of Greece. However, Greece is a country that, ever since it was technically liberated, in 1828, has always been under tutelage, tutelage of a sponsor power. First, it was a combination of three powers, France, England and Russia. There carne a king to Greece, in fact, who was to guarantee in that troubled spot--that very important spot geopolitically balance and equilibrium with respect to the interest of the great powers. Greece has always been conceived as a halfway house between a colonial status and a free status; this is something with which the Greek has always lived. He has always had full awareness of the fact that, in the end, the face of his nation, the course of his nation, depended on decisions made, to a large extent, elsewhere.

The year 1947 marked the entry of the United States to the Greek scene. In 1947, the Truman Doctrine followed Churchill's speech in the United States where he called upon the Americans to assume some of the responsibility of the British. There was then raging in Greece a very bitter civil war. It was really the first Vietnam, although different in many respects. Fundamentally, it was a confrontation between East and West, Stalin having agreed with Churchill in 1944 that Greece belonged 90 per cent to Great Britain, Rumania 90 per cent to the Soviet Union, Bulgaria 90 per cent to the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia 50 per cent to each.

The United States was experiencing its first intervention anywhere outside its involvement in the last two wars and its involvement in the Latin American continent; this was its first real experiment. Greece was the first place where napalm bombs were used; the mountain ranges of Greece are quite burned up now in evidence of the discovery of their effectiveness.

I am referring to these things because, although away in the past, yet they set the tone for what followed. In fact, much of what followed will not be understood unless we have such a background. By 1949, the Civil War was over. The United States had contributed massively on the side of the government and involved itself in a total expenditure which amounted to over $3 billion. In those days that was a very large sum, even though it is no longer a large sum for such ventures.

The Greek Governments that emerged after the Civil War were either coalition governments or rightist governments and, especially after 1952, we had a rightist government concerned mainly with growth and stability. During that period, the United States reduced its financial aid to Greece while extending its control of Greek affairs. In the years 1951 and 1952, the Minister of Economic Coordination in Greece could not validate an order or a decision unless it were countersigned by the head of the United States economic mission in Greece.

It was natural for America, having contributed so many resources, to consider the Greek situation as one for which it was directly responsible. It had to make sure that the experiment was a success. It was in 1963, approximately, that a well known economist, who was a friend of mine, observed that there were three successful involvements by the United States in the world: Greece, Israel and Formosa. But the experiment somehow went to ashes in Greece.

What happened? During the 1950's, the Conservative Governments of Greece were emphasizing growth and stability and maintaining an income distribution policy which enhanced the differences rather than diminishing them. By the end of the 1950's, Athens looked more and more like a European capital but the Greek mountain villages looked more and more like communities in the underdeveloped part of Asia. There was a difference of 456 to 1--striking; and within Athens itself, the difference was equally striking, if not more so. There was no educational reform. Education was limited to the few, to the privileged, and it was an education intended to stultify rather than develop the nation. Administratively, the machinery of government was built, all through the fifties, dependent upon the gendarmes, the informant, the secret service. It was intended to control the Greek countryside to ensure that when and if the Greek people decided to really strike out for a change a significant change--that a system of power would be in force to guarantee that such a deviation did not occur. There is a film today, a very remarkable film, "Z", as we call it in Greece. It is a film about the parallel governmental machinery and how it operated behind the scenes--what we call "the parallel government of Greece". We do not use the word "shadow government" because it has an entirely beneficent connotation in England.

In 1961, the centrist forces--and by the word "centrist" we mean a coalition of political forces ranging from left but not extreme left to right but not extreme right--formed a broad coalition. This coalition challenged the power of the ruling party, the party that had ruled for a decade (in fact for 12 years), and we had every indication, at the time, that the elections would be good for the centrist forces--for the anti-government forces. There were winds of change blowing in Greece. The combination of the distribution of income, of stultified and oppressive administration, of failure to encourage educational reform, and the partial healing of the wounds of the civil war contributed to a new spirit.

There was a need for action and for change--the need for a new open society. Yet, the elections came, and they left us all shocked and surprised. The government not only maintained its previous strength but in fact increased it. When we looked into the facts for the reason (and it did not take too much looking, at that), we discovered that there had been fraud and violence on a fantastic scale. Even more surprisingly for us, we discovered that this violence and this fraud had infiltrated the armed forces; the gendarmerie and the police force were working together in the execution of a plan--a military plan called "Plan Pericles". This was a military plan for winning the election. It was a plan in which not only Greeks but also Americans had participated. Since I shall talk about this later in connection with the coup, I shall not dwell on this particular story now.

There was beginning in Greece a truly explosive political movement called the "unyielding campaign" with rallies and popular mobilization throughout Greece--every countryside, every spot in Greece, lasting for two years. Finally, the assassination of the leftist deputy, Lambrakis, by the police, by this machine, broke the back of the government's case.

At the same time, Kennedy was demonstrating a sympathetic concern in America and had, at least, relaxed the guidelines for the embassies and the services of the United States. In 1963 and again in 1964, there were elections in Greece which the centrist forces were allowed to win. I emphasize the word "allowed". We came to power, George Papandreou came to power, on a huge majority by Greek standards, 53 percent, and on the basis of a programme, a platform that was progressive and democratic but would not seem to a Westerner at all radical. Yet for Greece, it was terribly radical. There were three components to this platform.

One was that the people must be served in Greece, and this particular slogan was addressed to the King who had been accustomed over the years to rule not within but without the constitution. The second component was that the army belongs to the nation, another important slogan meaning a number of things, which I shall talk about at some length, but essentially that the Greek army was not under the authority of the Greek locally elected government, but was really under the authority of the United States military mission, through the King's intervention. It was the third slogan that disturbed the Americans no end. It was really a very straightforward slogan. It was, allies, yes; satellites, no. It was a slogan which, with the hardening of the campaign, changed form and became "Greece belongs to the Greeks".

I remember, at one point, that the American ambassador asked to see my father and me over a question he wanted to discuss, and so he came to lunch. He said that the only thing he wanted to discuss with us was this new slogan. What do we really mean when we say Greece belongs to the Greeks? We said that we thought this was commonplace and he said, "Well it seems to me that you are suggesting that Greece does not really belong to the Greeks, but that we seem to have something to do with it". We said that such was our impression. He replied that we must be thinking of much earlier years. Now, you know, the United States has really very little to do with Greece. In the times of the civil war, it was interfering, but now it really has no power in Greece and we should know it. Well, we agreed to disagree on this point--whether America really ruled the Aegean waves or not?

This particular programme, which also had a social component to it, was never really quite organized, but it did carry the support of the Greek countryside, the most unemployed and poor sections of Greece with its hope of redressing inequality and its emphasis on the need for sensitive social policy. It wasn't radical, but it was an important change for Greece. I think that, by social-democratic standards of Denmark or Sweden, we probably would be classed as conservatives.

All of this was too much and we ran into heavy weather on many fronts. I shall start with two stories that really led up to the coup. They have a real connection with the coup.

My first assignment, unfortunately, in the government was to be Minister of State and, as Minister of State, among my varied duties was the supervision of the Greek Intelligence Services. We picked a very decent Greek general who had had a history in the resistance (a very unusual thing in Greece to pick a general with a history in the resistance), and we gave him an assignment to reorganize and redraft and reinstate the Greek Intelligence Services so they would not be keeping files on us, or be tapping our telephones. After a month, he came back and he said to me: "Mr. Minister, it can't be done." I said: "How can this be, don't you know your orders?" He said: "Well, I give orders too but they are not executed." The story he told me was that the Greek Intelligence Services were directly financed and directly administered. When I say directly, I don't mean via government budget; I mean directly by the C.I.A. of the United States.

Next to every Greek operative, there is a U.S. operative. The equipment is U.S. equipment, it is not Greek equipment. "I can't do anything," he said. "If you want to raise the question at cabinet level and take it up with the American Embassy, fine, but I really am helpless." I did take it up with the cabinet. It became an issue. It became very clear that, over this issue, the U.S. was willing to break in a decisive way with our government and, this being the case, we had just about one month in power. Yet, many members of the cabinet felt that sense and reason could prevail, and so it was decided that we should not attempt to make our intelligence services independent or Greek; we should try to live with the situation.

As a matter of fact, I left the Ministry myself later on and went on to become Minister of Coordination--planning, I suppose you could call it--only to find out again that I had to deal with the U.S. Embassy whenever I wanted to renegotiate or discuss a contract involving some particular large American firm in Greece. We had a commitment with the Greek people to renegotiate the Standard Oil contract the Esso contract--in Greece, which we had termed colonial. We had termed that contract colonial when the preceding government had signed it, and, of course, we discovered that the U.S. Embassy became extremely upset over this description. The officer in charge of the economic section in the U.S. Embassy put a great deal of pressure on us. We did not yield to that pressure, I should say, although it is interesting that he later resigned from the U.S. Embassy and went on to take an important job with Standard Oil.

The third question with which I shall not bore you, because it is a very long one, was our confrontation over the Cyprus question. I shall not become involved in this because it is long and difficult. On the invitation of President Johnson, we had been flown to Washington in the presidential plane to discuss the Cyprus issue, which was critical in June of 1964. We had been told, not asked, to meet and to settle the question of Cyprus once and for all on the basis of a plan known now as "the Acheson Plan" which is a partition of Cyprus between Turkey and Greece. We refused, and when we refused, it became very clear that we had had it in Washington. People were very harsh. They made such statements as the following: "But, if you do not, then we shall not be able to prevent the Turks from using their much superior airforce to burn out your towns and your villages". We had in the end to say to them: "Thank you very much for giving the Turks three to four times the airforce to be able to burn our towns and our villages, because the whole game is fixed here, not there". Who can do what to whom and with what weapons is really decided in Washington, within the Western alliance, not anywhere else.

Our effort to subjugate the Greek military to the authority of the government failed completely and this really was our undoing. We knew that Damocles' sword was really hanging over our head. We knew that popular sovereignty in Greece was considered a threat, a threat to what has come to be known as the strategic interest of the alliance in the Eastern Mediterranean. We knew, therefore, that if we wanted to make good on this programme, which was a programme of democratization, of progressive social policy, and of national independence within the alliance, we had to control the military; but this we could not do. The King refused to go along and, indeed, at some critical moment when we thought we might be able to get ahead it was disclosed that a military conspiracy had been brewing within the army, a conspiracy of leftist officers intending to overthrow the regime, establish a socialist regime without the King, and to and behold in charge of this military movement was none other than your speaker today.

When this information came out, it looked at first very funny, nothing to be taken too seriously. We were still the government, but within two months, a number of officers had already been arrested and charged with high treason and it was indicated that proceedings would be taken also against civilians, meaning me and maybe one or two others. Much to our amazement, this became a very great story and it became the foundation in fact for the intervention of the army to save the nation.

What we know now, but did not know then, was that the very same people who made the coup of 1967 were the men who prepared this great conspiracy, in order to cut our wings, in order to eliminate our power to change anything within the armed forces, in order to preserve the intelligence services of Greece intact. The King dismissed the Greek Government over this case, even though we had 53 per cent of the people. We were considered suspect. There ensued a period of great unrest in Greece. It is often referred to in the conservative press abroad as the chaos that preceded the military coup.

Well, of course, the constitution had been violated by the King. There had been a spectacular attempt to buy off deputies from our party. There were substantial sums of money used and these sums of money did not come from Greek sources but from American sources. They did succeed in buying no fewer than SO deputies, enough to give a majority of one vote to a government not elected by the people, but formed behind the scenes.

It was obvious then that we had to take to the streets and to the fields, and we had just one slogan, "Sovereignty in elections". They had hoped--they had expected--that with the charge of this conspiracy, with our ouster from government, this great reformist movement would die out, would peter out, to permit the establishment in Greece to continue without the need of destroying the formalities of democracy. But in fact, it did not work out that way at all.

The Greek movement, spearheaded by the youth for a democratic, independent, progressive Greece took on a force much greater than ever before. It literally became a popular volcano for freedom, national identity and progress. I call this the awakening of the Greek Nation. It is a great period, a period that I would never have missed in my life no matter what the cost afterwards may be. It is an important period when the Greek people became aware of the possibility of really changing the course of their nation as they wanted to. It was a great moment, a great period and it ended in the coup of April 21, 1967.

We all know about the coup. I shall try to put it in a capsule. However, new things are coming out with the passing of time. We did not know all of it. Some of it was hard to believe at first but this we now know. There were two coups being prepared. One was being prepared by the generals and the King. The date set was May 13th. There was another coup being prepared within that coup which was the coup in fact that succeeded April 21 under five men. The five men are Papadopoulos, Roufogalis (you don't hear much of him, but he is still very powerful), Makarezos, Hadjipetrou and Patakos.

Papadopoulos has a very simple history. He was a village boy actually born very close to where my village is, only a few kilometers away. He went into the army, studied some engineering, collaborated with the Germans and was one of the members of an organization "X" that the Germans used to suppress Greek resistance fighters. He has a good record in that organization. He then chose a nice desk job. He became the official liaison between the United States C.I.A. and the Greek Intelligence Services. This was his official post. This is in the books, it is not guesswork. Roufogalis was the personnel officer of the Greek Intelligence Services at the time of the coup. Makarezos was the intelligence officer of the Intelligence Services on the night of the coup. Hadjipetrou, Brigadier, was the head of the NATO missile base of Crete, the most trusted man on NATO's service in Greece. Finally, Patakos was the head of the armored division of the Greek army.

So we know one thing very clearly. Independent of any speculation, the coup came from within the Greek Intelligence Service. This we know. This is fact number one. We do know that this service is an extension, administratively and fiscally, of the C.I.A. This is not a matter of speculation. It is not propaganda. It is cold, unpleasant fact.

Number two, we know that a plan was used--a quite spectacular plan--to carry out this coup. Every Western nation belonging to the Atlantic alliance has such a plan. This is a contingency plan. That is what they are called. They are plans to handle the fifth column when a war with the Soviet Union breaks out, if it does, but in the meantime they may be very handy for other purposes.

This plan in Greece is called "Plan Prometheus". In France, by accident, I also happen to know the name; it is called Plan "Z".

I do not know the code names of the plans in other countries but one thing of which I am sure--they exist. Another thing I am quite sure of is that the governments need not necessarily know that these plans exist, for our government, I can assure you, did not know that such a plan existed. We did not know the code name. We did not know anything about it. That includes the Prime Minister. This was part of what we call the NATO Military Command which, by now, is quite an independent organization with a network throughout the West and apex in the pentagon at Washington. It constitutes truly and honestly parallel authority involved in domestic and foreign policy and defence matters throughout the West. It has its own propaganda machinery, its own funds, its own candidates for political office, in every country throughout the West. It is the power within the democratic framework of the West that we will have to contend with more so as time goes by.

In the case of Greece, this plan was computerized. The first time this news reached England it was on tapes for computers, tapes made in the U.S.A. They had been revised at colonel level in the Pentagon specifically for this assignment three to four months before the coup. The man who ran the tapes (I suppose that is the technical term) was an MIT graduate in Greece, who was forced to operate them that night. After that he was taken directly to jail where he spent a few months. He is now in Sweden. He has asked for asylum, and he has given us this information.

Those tapes included the names of those to be arrested, their addresses, and the names of those officers who were to arrest those who were to be arrested. The tapes were quite complete. But then the question is: all right, the colonels may have taken these tapes; they were not meant for their use. How can we be sure, or is it important that we be sure of the fact that there was direct involvement in this particular coup via the U.S. services? We cannot be sure. We only have two additional pieces of information that are important, but do not really wholly answer the particular question that I put.

We know that, in February of 1967, Walter Rostow chaired a sub-committee of the National Security Council of the U.S. to examine the Greek problem. We know that present were the members of the C.I.A., the Pentagon, and the State Department. We know that they reviewed the situation, concluded that the Centre Union and the Papandreous, as they put it, would win the coming election in May and that this was against the vital interest of the U.S. Whenever the word "vital" is used, it has a very special connotation. It means that action is really mandatory. Rostow summed it up by saying: "Gentlemen, what we conclude or fail to conclude will set the course of events of Greece."

Now, this information has been leaked out by Marcus Childs. I did see Marcus Childs to find out really how much of the story was provable and I have full satisfaction that it was so.

The other fact that is important was that the sixth fleet was just exactly south of Crete the day of the coup. Not too close to be seen, not too far to be out of range, and it was there in that particular location the morning of the coup.

We also know that, the morning of the coup, there was some confusion in Washington. I believe that the State Department expected a coup from the King and the generals and that the C.I.A. and the Pentagon expected the coup from the colonels.

There was a man who took it upon himself to clear up this confusion, a man who seemed to know. That man was Cyrus Vance. Cyrus Vance assured the State Department that morning that actually these men were their men and they shouldn't really worry about it.

These are the facts as we know them. They are, I think, quite shaking for all of us, for the Greeks, but maybe not only for the Greeks, for the Europeans as well and I should like now to ask a question. What really can be the reason, the explanation behind the need of the United States to destroy democratic freedom in Greece, to impose on Greece an occupation as brutal and as oppressive as this? What could be their rationale, for in understanding the answer to this question, I think we will understand the key to political developments in this period. We can ask the same question for the East bloc. It is not hard. What was the rationale for the Warsaw coup coming into Prague? Were the Czechs, in fact, about to coalesce with the West and leave the Warsaw Pact? Neither Dubcek was about to do that nor were we about to do that. So what was this momentous occasion which calls for one bloc to send its troops. It is to the credit of the Czechs that they did not have Czech uniforms ready to perform the task whereas the U.S. mobilized the Greek uniforms that it had trained, fed, armed, brainwashed, over many years to carry out their task.

I think the answer must be that, for the Pentagon, for the new militarists, what more is necessary than what we common folk think is necessary. We have to begin to understand the nature of this new elite, of the new military elite which seems to hold the key to our future for East and West. What I say is no news to anyone, but I wonder really how much we have taken account of this development. The new military, especially in the metropolis, not in the periphery (and the metropolis in the West is Washington), is a technocrat and is a planner par excellence. He is an international planner. He has to deal with weapons that are quite awesome and he has at his disposal budgets that no military man ever conceived as possible or feasible in the past.

The U.S. now spends 40 percent of all military expenditures in the world which represents a bagatelle, 9 per cent of its national income. Power, huge power, is available at a moment's notice. Now, this technocrat military manager has to think about security. This is the most important word. Security of what? Security of the nation, I suppose, of the metropolis, of the bloc, it depends. But security just the same and security means aggression and defence. Aggression and defence are interchangeable. It is very hard to know. We used to call the ministries, Ministry of War. It was much cleaner, but we call them Ministries of Defence now.

In any case, given modern technology, it is impossible to think in anything less than global terms. In other words, the world is his oyster. He must not only think of the globe, but he must think of futuristic terms--the 20, the 30, or even the 40 year period is a minimum perspective.

As countries become rarified, they become important positions either for missile bases or for communications or for intelligence. They become discoloured. They have a function on the globe which only he understands. Now, the function of Greece is terribly important. Its crossroads East--West; its crossroads North--South; but more than that, it has very important ports.

Now I shall tell you a story. I am not sure whether you read this story, but a Greek by the name of--I forget the Greek--sent a letter to Senator Symington and asked why were the Americans supporting so openly and clearly this regime in Greece. Symington answered him in a very frank letter that was a page long, a letter which, breaking all rules of propriety, I made public. I thought it had to be made public. This letter said the following. The Sixth Fleet of the U.S. now can find no easy ports in the Mediterranean. North Africa had gone more or less closer to Moscow. Lebanon, as of 1967, did not wish the U.S. fleet. In Turkey, he adds, when our fleet goes there, the youth demonstrates. It is a fact, he said, that the only ports we can use especially for the relaxation of our people are the Greek ports and it turns out that Papadopoulos (this is added) provides the kind of stability necessary for this to go on. And this, dear George, he said, is the reason we must support the regime. When I gave this to the press, with the permission of George, Senator Symington did answer. He said: "I did say these things, I did write them, but I wrote them as Stu Symington, not as Senator of the United States (whatever this may mean). But the blame is all on me, but not on my country."

Such, Gentlemen, is the recent history of Greece. What are the prospects for a return to democracy in my country? As a first step, we must all understand the geopolitical predicament of Greece and the virtually autonomous force of American military strategy. These forces will not readily be reversed. But the torch of freedom has burned for too long in Greek hearts to be permanently dimmed. I hope I have helped you to understand that it must never be allowed to fade completely.

Professor Papandreou was thanked on behalf of The Empire Club by Mr. Graham M. Gore.

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Prospects for Democracy in Greece


The current situation in Greece, and its intimate relationship to the European problem and to the European fate. Greece now a part of a totalitarian syndrome. Some recent history, including the United States' intervention in 1947. Events in both Greece and in America, that set the tone for what followed. The speaker's involvement in political events.