NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE NUMBER 29.1-68: GREECE

Created: 4/11/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

/

/

SECRET

/ /

GREECE

CONCLUSIONS

military junta is firmly in control of Greece.parties of left, center, and right, thcleaders of the armedin disarray. The onlyto Prime Minister Pnpadopoulos* leadership comes fromof hard-liners within the junta itself, but both sideshowdown. If one should occur, we believeprevail.

junta asserts that it seeks to purify the society and thelira! structure of Greece. It has no coherent program forobjectives, yet it is unlikely to yield power until it hasin this direction or Iwcomes frustrated at its failure to dothe junta leaders may attempt cither to postponefor several years or write into the new constitutionwould permit them to monopolize power after elections.

'The junta's day to day handling of the economy has been reason-ably good, and the initial econoinic dislocations of the coup have been largely overcome, But the regime is not likely to And an effective remedy for Greece* long-term economic deficiencies, in jwuticular, the chronic problem of sufficient foreign exchange to assure sustained development

D. The coup has severely complicated Greece's relationship with most of Its NATO allies. While the junla leaders would like to improve relations with the West, they are not apt to make substantialin their internal policy to do so. They appear to believe that adoptiononstitution will gainuller acceptance by the USesumption of major MAP deliveries. If these expectations are disappointed, the junta will Iembittered toward the US, Harass-ments of US interests might occur, but the junta would be unlikely to take actions affecting thc basic mission of US installations in Greece.

FOP RELEASE DATE:9

on the other hand, the US is furthcoming with theby resuming MAP deliveries, its action would contributecriticism of the US from opponents of the regime, includingleftists but more moderate elements as well. On tlie otherof MAP would in Papadopouios' eyes vindicate hismight help him to swing the junta more quickly in the directionforms. In any event, renewed MAP shipments areto persuade the junta to compromise its social and politicalor to yield power before it decidesider varietythat the time is ripe.

the Cyprus issue, no basic solution can be achievedcooperation of Makarios. Nevertheless, thc junta haslo reach an accommodation with Turkey on tho Cyprusand Creek-Turkish relations are warmer than for some time.

DISCUSSION

POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE BEFORE THE COUP

The CrwOi political system was already in disarray when lhc junta seized power inhc Communists have not been able loajor role since Ibe Greek Civil War, because of the excesses during this struggle, they are still widely regarded with tear and loathing. Tlieir political resurgence was efffttively undercut when George Papandreou assembled the heretoforeliberal forces into the moderate left Center Union and won4 elections with the largest majority of the popular vote since the Second World War. Rut Papwidrcou's efforts to gain control over both tbe military and civilian power structures were frustrated by the powerful conservaiivePalace, the armed forces, and the rightwing National Radicalhad dominated die political scene in postwar Greece.

This struggle for sirptemaiy hindered the process of government in the years before the coup.apandreou resigned in frustration after an acrimonious confrontation with Ihe King. But particularly with former Prune Minister Karamanlis in self-biiposed exile In Ports, the conservatives were unable to supply effective leadership. The Palace resorted to the uneasy compromiseovernment of defectors from the Center Union backed by the National Radical Union. This contributed to the politicalitterness that weakened the already dwindling prestige of the monarchy and called mlothe viability of the elective political system itself.

JUNTA

coming to power, the junta banned all political activity, detainedperiod scene conservative as well as Center Union leaders, and rounded up over

7

SECRET

f whom are stillheld without charges. In order to promote acceptance both at borne and abroad, (be junta at iii si ruled largelyacade of civilian noncntltiej. It sought tothe Palace and moved cautiously toward esbibllshiag full control of the military establishment. The King and some ol thc senior generals believed that they would soon lose all their remaining power. Tho failure of their attempted counter-coup In7 permitted tho junta to consolidate its grip on the political order by assuming the top government posts, neutralizing the Palace, and purging thc military establishment.

he only significant challenge to the regime's present leadership now comes from within the junta itself. While Prime Minister Ceorgios Papadopoulos has steadily increased his predominance over the dozen or so former field-grade army officers in the revolutkxiary council which comprises the junta, he docs notthc unquestioning allegiance of thisounger hard-line faction, impatient atobstacles the junta's rule is encountering, has begun to emerge. These more extreme nationalists, whose most prominent figure is former Colonel Ladas, serve in important positions in government, for the most part at tbelevel in various ministries, They would like toore authoritarian government establishedirmer policy followed in respect of the King and the Western democracies. On some issues, they haw been able toubstantial proportion of the junta and to alter or even reverse some of Ihe course* advocated by Papadopoulos. Forheir influence evidently slowed tho release of political prisoners and prevented any early return of tbe King.

nirion of these, hard-liners, however, has been somewhat weakened since Papadopoulos obliged them to resign their military commissions earlyney recognize Papadopoulos' edge in personality, ability, and position, and seem inclined tohowdown. As long as they accept his general primacy, Papadopoulos probably sees little advantage in risking Ihe instability inherent in purging this group. Should the extremists nonetheless stumbleonfrontation, we believe Papadopoulos would prevail. He has thus fareffrctive control of the military establishment. While wc do not have detailed Information on the allegiance of the officer corps, Papadopoulos appears to command the loyalty of most, including the more important figures, such as General Angelis. Chief of thr Creek Army Ceneral Staff.

he juntaew breed of loader in Greece. Strongly motivated by vaguely defined Ideas nf social and economic justice, theseighly moralistic. Intensely anU-Conununist outlook. They are agreed that Greek, society must he purged of the corruption, confusion, and demngoguery which they associate with civilian politicians and which theywere destroying tbe machinery of government and the moral fiber of the population. But while they profess to seek to reform rather than to destroy the church, tile political and economic system, the bureaucracy, nnd tho monarchy, they are not wedded on the grounds of either emotion or expediency to the preservation of these Institutions. The hard-line faction in particular is prepared to bo ruthless in suppressing opposition from any quarter.

f

SECRET

he Junta took office without any clear program (or achieving its aspirations to purify Greece and give it honest and efficient government. To date the regime has tackled its problems piecemeal, concentrating more on details than on the development of programs. It has directed its main attention to consolidating its power, to eliminating (lommunivt influence in Greece, and to reforming the bureaucracy. Bureaucratic efficiency has Improved somewhat and some dead-wood has been removed. But the regime's performance continues to beby lack of experieoced, qualified civilian personnel; many competent people have refused to serve. More significantly, the junta mcrnliers themselves appear unable to agree on what courses of action are best suited to attain theu-broad objectives. Hence, despite its talk ol radical change, thc regime has kept pretty much to tbe traditional ways of doing business. Its own inernbcrsthat it has not made much progress toward achieving Hs goals; hence, the junta probably feels the need to govern Greece for somecouple of years

at

I, PROBLEMS FACING THE JUNTA

Political Sifuaffon. Even before they had consolidated power, tberulers found themselves faced witb thc question of determiningpolitical order. The junta moved almost immediately to appoint acommission, at least partly In an effort to mollify the crown andboth domestic arid foreign criticism. More recently, it bas publiclyitself toonstitutionlebiscitethat tlie junta is likely to keep this commitment, though tbeharbors reservations about this process and this timetable.

draft constitution prepared by the commission bas now beenpubbc comment has been solicited. The junta has made it dear that itwith the draft and will submit Its own version. It has,yet revealed what modifications it may have in mind. Nevertheless, wecertain of some of tbe broad hues of tbe constitution as it isto emerge. It will probably Invest considerable authority lo theand the Cabinet. The monarchy will almost certainly be retainedthe junta regards ittabilizing force; its powers, however, willand Constaotine himself would probably accepteaser role.draft contains provisionsonstitutional Court whichonly rule on thc validity of acts of the legislature, but would also havepowers to enforce political conformity. We believe that the people will,of an alternative, vote for the constitutional draft as put forward by the junta.

he junta has apparently not yet decided how its own place can best ho assured within the new constitutional order, and it may be some time inegal means to stay in power. It would probably Eke to postpone parliamentary elections for several years, and it mayrovision toffect in tbe constitution presented for referendum. If such postponement were to generate stiff opposition, especially among Greece's Western allies, the junta might write

SECRET

into (he constitution or thc electoral law provisions that would facilitate Itsof power afterby disqualifying most former pohhcians. But In any event we doubt that Greece will have more than tbe symbolsree democracy for some years tn come.

Thr Opposition. In this situation, opposition to tho [unta is likely to grow and become more open. Already conservative as well oa Center Union leaders have publicly refused to cooperate ln debating the draft constitution. After the referendum, even figures like present Foreign Minister Prprnells would be tempted to advance their claims to lead the presently disorganized conservative forces and press for early elections, More determined opposition is likely from aspirants to the leadership of the Center Union, though this party, which had lost important members before thc coup, has furtlier fragmented. Military figures, too, might become somewhat disaffected, either because theyore speedy return to democratic processes, or more likely because they did not like the shape of the political forces (hey saw emerging.

Nonetheless, we do not believe that this opposition would threaten the juntas control for some years to come. The disarray In the National Radical Union will be bard to over come. Nor are efforts to reconstitute the Center Unionowerful united bloc likely to succeed, at least until the thorny problem oiuccessor to George Papamlie-ni has been settled. Within the country, few of Andreasollowers as yet seem willing to risk opento thc junta, and the other recent emigres generally command little organised support. Moreover, in Greece it has never been easy to put together an effective political bloc from the warring and jealous factions, built for tbe most part on personality, which pass for political parties. Hence (he political scene Ls likely to remain fragmented for some time to come. Given tbe extensive precautions taken hy Papadopoulos and his colleagues, it would not be easy for dissidents within tho military establishment toufficient body of support to upset tbe regime. Thc Communists, badly split and severely repressed, are unlikely to emergeignificant force for at least several years.

h* Economy. By thc time (he junta took power, the overall rate of economic growth was substantially below the remarkable performance of the previous decade, when annual increases in gross national product of eightor more svere common. Agricultural productivity was lagging despite large government subsidies. While overall industrial production in die first quarter7 grew as rapidly as in the same periodises in wages and salaries were pushing up production costs. Official gold and foreign exchange reserves were gradually declining. The recession In Germany had begun to retard the growth uf remittances from workers abroad, and long-term capital Inflow had fallen to leas than half of its previous heavy rate.

M. The coup exacerbated Greece's economic problems. Even though the junta leaders have not Introduced any basic changes In the management of the economy, their behavior has alienated some business interests and important foreign lenders. Private foreign investment7 fellercent below the level of the previous

SECRE

SECRET

year. The rate uf growth of industrial production slumped even furtherthe miliiary takeover. Tourism also declined considerably after the coup, partly because of thc war in thc Middle East and thc Cyprus crisis, and receipts for the year wereercent below the totalmigrant remiHanoes, too. were affected somewhat.

he junta has sought to cope with these problems by relyingheavily on private enterprise as the driving force behindive-year plan originally preparedlieannounced plans to cut public investment byumber ofprojects. The regime Ls also actively pursuing private investorsand domestic- Its principal achievement is the negotiation of aproposed contractS firm that has been commissioned tomillion in foreign investment over tho neatreece has alsoan IBRD loanfor the privately owned NationalBank for Industrial Development. At the same time, the junta issul>ridies to the agricultural sector in an efiort to increase theincome of the rural areas.

he junta'* day to day handling of the economy has been reasonably good, and the initial economic dislocations of the coup have been largely overcome. Declines in touilst earnings and emigrant remittances have been offset by an increase In other receipts, particularly from shipping, which expanded greatly following closure of the Sue* Canal. The trade deficit actually declined slightlynd total gold and foreign exchange reserves1 at year end were only slightly lower than their level inrices are now stable and credit not ovcreitended. We believe that the economy will growate of about five percent for the next year or so.

lie junta is not making much progress In solving Creece's chronic problem ofupply of foreign exchange adequate to sustain prolonged and rapid development Tbc manufacturing sector remains too small to allow eitherImport substitution or rapid devrJopmeut of new exports. Thisweakness is likely fn the long run to leadurther decline in the rate of growth, to Increased unemployment, andising balance of payments problem. These developments would seriously undermine Greek efforts to prepare for full membership in thc European Economic Communityhough the junta may be generally aware of these problems, it has yet toany new Ideas or any coordinated plan for attacking them. Nor do wc believe that the regime is capable of coming up with an effective remedy for these long-term deficiencies.

IS. Over the longer run, poUtical rivalries within the junta or economicmight prompt the regime to optore tightly con trolled economy.

1 To date only J3 million bat been invrettd and this by lhe US Arm ibstf. Ijeoro Inquiries.Including not only officialut also thr unoBdal "gold sovereign aoouunt"

SECRET

Suchcourse, involving controls on imports oi consumer goods, on foreignon prices, and on investment, would run counter to Uie agreement with the EEC am] would thus probably force Greece into more extensive bilateral trade agreements with Communist countries. The Junta might also engage in selective nationalization of industry in an attempt at better organization and control of tbe uutnrments of economic planning and thc forces of growth,if it felt that tbe economic oligarchy was not cooperating sufficiently witb tbc regime.

he coup has severely complicated Greece'smost of it* NATO allies. The military takeover has been almostin the Western press. Athens' relations have become especially frigid

tin- Scandinavian countries, where Greek emigre opposition figures such as Andreas Papandreou have encountered warm support The US has suspended MAP shipments of major military items to Greece since tbe coup. Moreover, reflecting the unpopularity of thc junta abroad, the European Investment Bank hasillion in credits promised prior to the coup.

far. tbe junta bas borne these pressures with resignation. Theobviously unhappy at tho extent of distaste expressed by their allies.they continue to vuluo highly Greece's NATO connection andto improve relations with the West. But there are limits on what tbeyto do to satisfy* their foreign critics. Tbey are not likely topower until they are considerably closer to achieving theirconsiderably rnore frustrated at their failure to do so. Nor are they aptto enlarge- their popularity In Europe by relaxing domestic politicalthey deem essential. Indeed, in some cases, relations mayesult of political maneuvering by Creek exiles who areorganize and foment opposiUon to thc junta.

yprus. Tho improvement of Creek relations with Turkey over the Cyprus issue farms an exception to this trend. The junta's firm political control at home enables it to be more fortbeorning than previous Greek regimes regarding Cyprus. Papudopoulos has apparently convinced his colleagues thatof this dispute is so harmful to Crcece's long-range mtcrosts that itsshould be sought, evm at the price of significant concessions to Turkey. Following the crisis ofhe junta abandoned insistence on any early union of Cyprus with Greece. Nonetheless, no basic solution can be achieved without the cooperation of President Mukarios of Cyprus. Makarios is nowonciliatory policy toward tbe Turkish Cypriots, andtensions on the island have declined substantially. Athens wouldwelcome initiatives that gave promise ofasting accommodation with Turkey. For as long as tbe Cyprus issue remains unresolved. Athens would find it difficult to remain aloof from controversies on tbe island, and current good relations with Turkey could rapidly deteriorate.

SECRET

IV. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE

has traditionally reliedreat powertneyears, the US. While some leftist elements have objected, thisbeen welcomed by most Greeks. Tho junta docs not want to upsetIt recognizes that any rapture of relations with the US wouldelements nf its military support It would almost certainly likeits own policies harmonize with those of the US. provided that theyderogate significantly from the juntas control over Greece.

In this situation, the junta leaders have been especially sensitive to the coolness in their relations with tbe US and to the suspension of major MAP items which they feel has delayed the modernization of the Greek Armed Forces. Restoration of normal diplomatic contact, temporarily suspended after the King's abortive coup, has eased the strain somewhat But the Creek leaden cODtiaMM to have underlying suspicions that the US does not support tneir regime and would be glad to see it weakened or supplanted.

Tbe junta leaders appear to believe that approval of the constitution by referendum would substantUlTy fulfill US expectationseturn togovernment. Hence, particularly after the referendum, they are likely to step up pressure on thc US to release thc major MAP items held up since the coup. The Creek Armed Forces feel increasing need for these Items, and delay Ln resumption of MAP would probably strengthen the voice of the hard-line faction within the junta and lead the junta to slow down movement toward tbe forms of constitutionalism. It would undoubtedly embitter Greece's relations with thc US, and could lead the junta toariety of harassment* and threats to US interests. Nevertheless, we believe that itong time before the junta would take any actions affecting the basic mission of US installations in Greece.

'C.

f, on the otber band, the US is forthcoming with the junta, especially by resuming MAP deliveries, its action would contribute to further criticism of the US from opponents of tlie regime, including not only leftists hut more moderate elements as well. On the other hand, restoration of MAP would Ineyes vindicate his position and might help him to swing the junta more quickly in the direction of constitutional forms. In any event, renewed MAP shipments are not likely to persuade the junta to compromise its social andobjectives or to yield power before it decidesider variety of reasons

that the time is rip

8

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA