THE SITUATION IN GREECE

Created: 7/6/1967

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE

Intelligence Memorandum

THE SITUATION IN GREECE

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67 NO.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of

INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

The Situation in Greece

The eleven-week-old military regime in Athens remains firmly in command. Close on the heeis of the bloodless take-over, thethe leadership of Col. Georgiosmoved to establish complete control of all aspects of the government. In carrying out its professed aims of completely purging all Greek institutions of any semblance of the former archaic, corrupt, and "inefficient forces of the statushe junta installed supporters in the military high command and all key governmental and bureaucratic posts. This process is continuing. The civilian premier and foreign minister are mere figureheads.

Political life has been sharply proscribed. Persons making anciregime statements are subject to severe punishment by the military courts. Many of the former political leaders originally arrested have now been released, but are either under house arrest or are being closely watched. Andreas Papandreou, who the junta feared would turn anelectoral victoryecided swing to the political left and an eventual break in the country's long-standing ties with the West, remains in an Athens prison awaiting trial on charges of treason. Of the moreuspect Communists originally arrested,re still at an island detention center. Strict control of the domestic press is maintained, and all newspapers reflect the same proregiiae line.

Note: This memorandum was produced solely by CIA for the use of the CIA representative on theRegional Group, Middle East. It was prepared by the Office of Current Intelligence and coordinated with the Office of National Estimates and the Clandestine Services.

Some progress has been made toward one of the Junta's major aims, that of revising the con-atitution. onstitutional review commission has been meeting sinceune and has been instructed to finish its draft for approval by the junta by mid-December. No timetable has yet been set for thc announced referendum by the people- Although the commission was directed not to alter the basic institutions of the statehe crowned democracy) the junta has auggested that theconsider, interrovisionopularly elected prime minister. This strongly suggests the juntaonsiderableof the palace's previous political authority which,atter of fact, hasontentious issue several times in Greece's modern history.

In short, the regime shows no evidence of deviating from its professed aims of "cleansing" the country's institutions until the "revolution has completed its tasks." The junta's visionurified political and social atmosphere may be unrealistic and its capability to realize it may be doubtful, but its resolve' to see it through is firm and so far unquestioned.

Most of the elements best able to resist the take-overwere almost immediately immobilized. The general public reaction to the events of

pril, allowing for the initial period of shock at the speed with which they took place, appeared to be acceptance of the junta's explanation of the necessity for theremoval of the "corrupt" politicians, who for so long had impeded the growth of progressive government in Greece. Popular tolerance and even satisfaction in the new exist, even ifatter of relief at being rid of the old than an expression of outright good will toward the new. Only sporadic instancos of resistance have emerged and any effective organized opposition seems doubtful in the near future.

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No Foreign Dlsi

'Background Use Only

junta appears to face no immediate dangerountercoup within the military. Most of the former high command and general officers, whom the junta regards asthe politicians and theresponsibility for the precoup situation, have been replaced by coup activists or by officers who were in sympathy with the coup makers' objectives. The fact thatand retirements continue generally in line with established procedures rather than on the basis of favoritism has probably discouraged any real movementountercoup. In addition, awareness among the officersountercoup would result in bloodshed on both sides, andcivil war, hasuieting effect.

The junta's relations with the palace continue to be strained. The King, in his isolation from the power center, has attempted to use the palace's past prestigious positionis the military as leverage for pressing the junta into restoring military discipline and taking concrete action toward returning to constitutional ood reception by both the populace and the military during two recent visits to military establishments, the King appearsthat he could prevaileriouswith the junta should arise.

Actually, the King's confidence may be Although the colonels have capitalized on the popular acclaim for the monarch and his public cooperation with the junta in order to

legitimatize thewill probably continue to do so in the shortremain suspicious of the King's motives. So far most of the points of potential conflict between the junta and the palace have involved changes in the military to which the King has had little objection. Constan-tine's opposition to additional purges orchanges, however, may at any time resultajor confrontation. The colonels have let it be known that in such an event the King will be forced to accept their plans or be asked to leave the country, in short, the King's leverage with the

Foreign Dis

Use Only

Background Use Only

junta is slight and is likely to deteriorate as the coup leaders' control is extended.

the myriad problems thefaces at home is the difficulty inacceptance. Obviously painedunswayed by the negative reaction inwhich resulted in considerablein NATO and in the European Economicthe coup makers have repeatedlyfirm opposition to Communism, theirthc aims of NATO, and their hopes forassociation with the US,

Their efforts aimed at the US arepointed. They are eager to initiatewith US officials and have indicated they would accept professional outside help in dealing with the many problems they face. They reportedly believe that the US has so far failed to respond appropriately and that the US misunderstands the necessity for their take-over. The coup leaders have shown resentment over the continuing close US contact with the King, They apparently fear that the US is using the King to undermine their regime.

The junta members have not taken kindly

to what they regard as unwarranted American interest

in the welfare of their 'enfantndreas

Papandreou. He has so far been treated humanely

and probably will not be executed regardless of the

outcome of his trial, which has not yet been scheduled.

one aspect of what they regard asUS response to the regime which is roostto the group is the temporary suspensionitems of US military aid. Theyirect slap at them. They haveshould this policy continue, thewould lead to anti-American reprisalsto seek aid elsewhere. There is surelyof bluster in this approach, but thereprisals is unquestionably present. initially approving of the suspension

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of US military aideans whereby both he and the US might obtain needed leverage with the junta, reportedly now believes that if some overtthat this policy is being relaxed is not soonerious confrontation could arise-not only jeopardizing the already shaky position of the King, but also plaguing the development of closer US-Greek cooperation.

13. The colonels regard Greeceastion of strength for the West in the eastern Mediterranean, especially following the recent events in the Middle East. esult, in addition to expecting more overt US support, the government will probably push hard for more substantial material aid from NATO, pointing to the danger of continued Soviet support for the Arabs and the increased presence of the Soviet fleet in the eastern Mediterranean. The colonels' observation of the depletion of US assets in the Middle Eastesult of the Arab-Israeli war may lead them to expect new US or NATO requests for additional real estate in Greece. Thcs willingness to maintain an active role in the Western defense system probably dependsarge extent on the degree to which the legitimacy of the regime is accepted by the NATO powers.

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