Created: 1/19/1968

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Intelligence Memorandum

ZTie Greek Junta: Its Problems and Prospects


8 No.


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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of Intelligence8


Creek Junta: Its Problems and Prospects


Witl: nearly nine nonthc of rule under their belt, the leaders ofpril revolution" xn Greece appear to have settled in for an extended stav. The junta's defeat of Kingll-fated countercoup in December removed the onlv apparent mechanism for rocusingto"its rule, at least from outside its ranks.

Many of the problems the junta has at home vere inherited fron the chaotic situationbefore it seized control. It has set as its basic ooal the total reform of the country's economic, political, and social institutions--an objective it will almost certainly be unable to realize. Steps taken thus far toward this end have enabled the junta to forestall any immediate threat from domestic opposition and it can probablythe discontent of those extremists in its ranks who think the cause is being betrayed.

Nevertheless, the regime is impatient and nervous about some of the problems it faces. It is baffled by its failure to win friends abroad and has indicated that it will not waitfor acceotance by its NATO allies, and

: ?his menorenduneduced solelyTUas prepared by the Office of Current Inteil and coordinated uith the Office of Bconox Research, the Office of national estimates, and the Clandestine Ser-jiczs.

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particularly by the US. Prime Minister Papadopoulos, irritated by the lack of US recognition, is reported to have said that if so-ne sign of recognition were not forthcoming byanuary, he would show the Americans that "we mean business." He did not specify what action he had in mind.

Although the junta's long-term tenure remains questionable, most Greeks reportedly accept its control and will probably be moved to significant protest only if the regime clearly fails to show movement toward the objectives it has set.


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The Regime'3 Frustration in Its Foreign Relations

Since the junta took power last April, its principal problem has been with its allies. The open disapproval of the military regime by some NATO governments and the grudging acceptance by others have produced an increasing sense of Possibly in response to this adversefrom its friends, the government has moved toew constitution, which at least in its initial form retains the basic institutionsonstitutional monarchy. Further, the regime has declared it willational referendum as soon as practical before IS September. Soon after the King's abortive attempt to oust the junta, the regime released its most prominent detainee, Andreas Papandreou, presumably to satisfy some of itscritics.

The regime obviously believes these steps toward "democracy" should convince its friends of its good intentions. Prime Minister Papadopoulos so far has fended off some of his hard-linewho are less sensitive to the need for outside support.

Nevertheless, the regime has let it be known that it will not wait indefinitely for signs of acceptance from its NATO allies, and specifically from the US. Prime Minister Papadopoulos reportedly is unwilling to wait beyondanuary for asign of US recognition. If some sign is not forthcoming, Papadopoulos reportedly said he will then show the Americans that "we meanther reports have suggested that the action might take the formtatement that Greece had been "ejected" from NATO. The regime, however, has just circulated to the NATO representatives assurances that it remains loyal to NATO. The US rather than NATO thus seems likely to be the target, and press reports hinting at this began to surface in Athens onanuary.

Papadopoulos* range of options, however, does not seem wide. His regime can make lifefor US installations in Greece, and he could

attempt to embarrass the US with public censure of Washington in retaliation for the criticism to which he believes Greece is being subjected. There have even been suggestions that the regime might espouseemiofficial emissary from Paris is reported to haveessage from De Gaulle. The regime's vocal and vehement anti-Communism would stand in the wayove toward "Nasirisra,"as some other observers have suggested.

The Regime's Domestic Problems and Its Attacks on Them

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The junta faces serious problems, many of them inherited from the chaotic situation existing before the take-over last April. These will demand considerable time, energy, and administrative talent to resolve. Moreover, the fact that the regime has established the "total" reform of Greek society as its basic goal complicates its position. Byan intention to overhaul completely all aspects of the country's economic, political, and socialthe regime has almost certainly bitten off more than it can chew.

The specific economic and social problems are generally those which confronted previous The gross national product has risenin recent years, but the economy has basicdearth of naturalow level of industrialighlybalance of trade, and overdependence oninvestment. The regime has gained atemporary psychological advantage regardingproblems with its simplification and lowering of income taxes. The Greek regime reasserted the primacy of private enterprise, actively encouraged foreign capital, and introduced highly important measures designed to reduce the gap between rural and urban incomes.

Socially, the regime has focused on twochurch and the schools. Both of these institutions are conservative, even stubborn in their outlook. The junta early moved to bring new,leadership to the church withighly respected archbishop whose views are

more progressive. Although little movement has come in the educational field, reforms in universitywere instituted in early December which resumed some of the force of the program of thegovernment. On balance, the junta's objectives in these areas now seem more tangible and clearly enunciated than before, when its goals were expressed in generalities and seemed the result of variedconsiderations,

A political cleanup continues to be the prime objective of the junta leadership. From the outset, the regime has tried to purge the country's political institutions of what it regards as the effects of the "corrupt" personalities and inadequate policies of previous regimes. Generally disdainful of politicians of all persuasions, the junta banned politicalCommunists, left-wing sympathizers, and even heretofore "respectable" conservative politicalwere jailed or placed under house arrest, and violators were subject to punishment by military Criticism of the regime was stifled by press censorship, and the regime intends to reform the venal precoup press.

The past cooperation of the Palace withelements also made the monarchy suspect, and the King quickly found some of his previous influence in the army overshadowed by the junta's power. The King periodically was confronted with militarylists which, in the circumstances of hisposition, he found expedient to sign in spite of the inclusion of officers whom he believed should be retained. In these and other ways, the King'swas severely undermined by thepril coup, and his abortive countercoup attempt in December has left him virtually isolated in exile in Rome. The junta has not completely barred the door to hisnor has the King burned his bridges with the top junta leaders. If he does come back, he is likely at best to reign rather than rule,

every section of governmentthe national and local levels has felt theof the coup. Officials in district and local


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government have been replaced by projunta nonarchs (governors) and mayors, many of whom were ex-military officers. Control elements, again usually military officers, were established in the various ministries and agencies to maintain surveillance over hundreds if not thousands of "politically tainted* career professionals, many of whore were removed or transferred to lesser positions.

the military establishment itselfincluded in the "political cleanup." Theand security forces have been subjectedforced early retirement and transfer ofbelieved to be in sympathy with theopposition, chiefly from the King,such move, projunta monitors were placed inwithin command elements to observe any

antiregime activity. This paid off, at least in the short term, in blocking the King's move of 13 Most of the officers who opposed the junta have now been removed.

While it has been enforcing these and other measures and apparently consolidating its control, the regime at the same time has insisted that its rule is temporary. Upon completion of the reforms, regime spokesmen reiterate, the government willthe country to "democratic" institutions. That promise is the regime's major political hurdle.

In the early weeks of its rule, the juntaommission toew constitution for submission to the government byho government received theew days after the King's countercoup attempt, and announced that

a referendum would be held on or beforeeptember

Presumably the regime will set the date for

new elections upon promulgation of the

but it has been deliberately hazy on this point.

shows relatively little basic change from The King's powers are reduced to someonstitutional court is instituted, and the freedom and "obligations" of the press are more strictly defined, as are other individual rights such as those of assembly and association. Thewas not strengthened to the degree anticipated.

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Reaction to the Junta's Works

14, The junta's performance to date has met with varying reactions- The regime apparently has won the respect, if not the admiration, of theGreek populace by its "clean sweep" tactics, combined with its public commitment to return to constitutionality. The repeated assurances on the latter score, however, along with the present draft of the new constitution appear to have contributedplit between theontrolled by Premier Papadopoulos,roup of extremists. This group apparently under the leadership of Colonel Ladas, the secretary general of the Ministry ofOrder, is critical of Papadopoulos' conciliatory attitude toward the King and was probably chiefly responsible for the exclusion from the pre-Christmas amnesty of suspect Communists, who remain in The Ladas group reportedly further believes that only an extended period of military rule can bring about real reform. Papadopoulos believes he can curb this group and has indicated he will put it down if it continues to interfere, but he clearly must take account of the sentiment for "root and branch" change which the group represents.


15. In an immediate sense the regime's domestic prospects appear to be good. At present no political element seems capable of effective protest. The only observable alternative in the short run seems to be an uprising of another group of officers which is even less inclined than the present group to move toward parliamentary government.

16. Economically, the junta appears to have gained at least temporary advantage from thegenerated by its programs which have beenwell received by the man in the street and, which, if carried through, will probably generate additional popular suoport.


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17. Socially, tho junta still musta capability for carrying out broad reform of an antiquated educational system, particularly at the elementary and secondary levels. It alsoormidable task in attempting to give new life to the church, an extremely conservative establishment populatedorrupt and poorly educated clergy. These areas presumably require the assistance of trainedroup that the regime has shown little inclination to recruit as yet.

IB. In its foreign relations, the junta's course clearly will depend in large part on the attitudes of Greece's allies. racticale sharp realignment of Greek foreign policy would involve difficult adjustments, especially in the military establishment on which the junta basically depends. It is nonetheless clear that the junta is determined to press its "revolution" as far as it can, regardless of foreign criticism, and that it feels forced to moveore independent policy.


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