Agreement Between the Greek Government and EAM 41



The undersigned, Messrs. John Sofianopoulos, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pericles Rallis, Minister of the Interior, and John Macropoulos, Minister of Agriculture, acting as the authorized delegation of the Hellenic Government, on the one part, and Messrs. George Siantos, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Greek Communist Party, Demetrios Partsalides, Secretary of the Central Committee of EAM, and Elias Tsirimokos, Secretary General of the Union of Popular Republicans (ELD), acting as the duly authorized delegation of the Central Committee of EAM, on the other part, have met in conference at Varkiza and having examined in common the means by which the civil war may cease and the Greek people be reconciliated, have concluded the following agreement.

The Government Delegation expressed during this conference, the firm desire of the Government to put an end to the unfortunate internal [Page 110] crisis without further bloodshed, establish the unity of the State and restore internal peace and normal political life in the country. Thus only would the Greek people be able to undertake the creative effort for the rehabilitation of the country from the ruins heaped from the hard struggle with the enemy from abroad and the civil war.

In order that the agreement reached may be an indestructible moral accord, expressing the demands of the political conscience of the Greek people, the Government Delegation wished thereby to proclaim the firm desire of the Greek people for the development of a free and normal political life, of which the main characteristic would be to respect the political conscience of the citizens, peaceful enlightenment and the spreading of political ideas, and to respect the liberties proclaimed by the Atlantic Charter42 and the decisions taken at Teheran43 which were accepted in the conscience of the free people striving for those liberties.

During the conference complete agreement was reached by the EAM Delegation on these principles.

Agreement Between the Royal Hellenic Government and EAM

Article I—Liberties

The Government will secure in accordance with the Constitution and the democratic principles everywhere recognised, the free expression of the political and social opinions of the citizens, repealing any existing illiberal law. It will also secure the unhindered functioning of individual liberties such as those of assembly, association and expression of views in the press. More especially, the Government will fully restore Trade Union liberties.

Article II—Raising of Martial Law

Martial law will be raised immediately after the signature of the present agreement. Simultaneously with this action there will be brought into force a Constitutional Act similar in all respects to Constitutional Act No. 24, whereby the suspension of those articles of the Constitution to which reference is made in Act 24 shall be permitted.

Articles 5, 10, 12, 20 and 95 of the Constitution shall be suspended forthwith throughout the country. This suspension shall continue until the completion of disarmament, and the establishment of administrative, judicial and military authorities throughout the country. As regards Article 5 in particular, this suspension shall not take effect [Page 111] in the cities of Athens and Piraeus and their suburbs. Especially, however, as regards persons arrested up to the present day it is agreed that Article 5 of the Constitution is not in force, and that they will be liberated within the shortest possible period of time, the necessary orders to this effect being given to the competent authorities.

Followers of EAM who may be held in captivity by other organisations shall be set free as soon as possible.

Article III—Amnesty

There shall be an amnesty for political crimes committed between the 3rd December, 1944, and the publication of the Law establishing the amnesty. From this amnesty shall be excluded common law crimes against life and property which were not absolutely necessary to the achievement of the political crime concerned. The necessary Law will be published immediately after the signature of the present agreement. From this amnesty will be excluded any persons who, being under obligation to surrender their arms as being members of the organisations of ELAS, the National Civil Guard or ELAN, shall not have handed them over by the 15th March, 1945. This last provision concerning exclusion from the amnesty shall be annulled after verification of the fact that the disarmament of ELAS has been effected, since there will then be no further cause and justification for it. Guarantees and details of the amnesty to be provided are contained in the draft law attached to the present agreement.44

Article IV—Hostages

All civilians who have been arrested by ELAS or by the National Civil Guard (E.P.), irrespective of the date on which they were arrested, shall be set at liberty immediately. Any who may be held on the charge of collaboration with the enemy or of commission of any crime shall be handed over to the justice of the State for trial by the competent Courts according to law. (See draft law of amnesty attached).

Article V—National Army

The National Army, apart from the professional officers and N.C.O.’s, shall consist of the soldiers of the classes which shall from time to time be called up. Reserve officers, N.C.O.’s and other ranks, who have been specially trained in modern weapons shall remain in service so long as there is a formation requiring them. The Sacred Squadron shall remain as at present, since it is under the immediate orders of the Allied High Command, and shall thereafter be merged in the united National Army in accordance with the above principle. The effort will be made to extend regular conscription to the whole [Page 112] of Greece in accordance with the technical facilities existing and the necessities which may arise. After the demobilisation of ELAS those men who belong to classes which are to be called up in accordance with the attached protocol shall report for enrolment in the units already existing. All men who have been enrolled in the units now existing, without belonging to the classes being called up, shall be discharged. All members of the permanent cadres of the National Army shall be considered by the Councils for which provision is made in Constitutional Act No. VII. The political and social views of citizens serving in the Army shall be respected.

Article VI—Demobilisation

Immediately on the publication of the present agreement the armed forces of resistance shall be demobilised and in particular the ELAS, both Regular and Reserve, the ELAN and the National Civil Guard. The demobilisation and surrender of arms shall take place according to the detailed provisions of the protocol drawn up by the Committee of Experts, which, duly initialled, is attached hereto.

The State will settle all questions arising out of requisitioning carried out by ELAS. The goods requisitioned by ELAS, including beasts, motor vehicles etc., which will be handed over to the State according to the detailed provisions of the protocol which has been drawn up and is attached hereto, will be regarded thereafter as having been requisitioned by the Greek State.

Article VII—Purge of Civil Service

The Government will proceed, by means of Committees or Councils to be established by a special Law, to the purging of the personnel of the public services, officials of public companies, local Government officials, and those of other services dependent on the State or paid by it. The criteria of which the purge will take account will be either professional competence, or character and personality, or collaboration with enemy or the utilisation of the official as an instrument of the dictatorship. Officials of the above services who, during the occupation, joined the forces of resistance will return to their positions and will be considered in the same manner as other officials. The above-mentioned Councils will also consider the cases of officials who have taken part or collaborated in the manifestations which have taken place between the 3rd December, 1944, and the date of signature of the present agreement. Those of them who are found to have been concerned may be placed at the disposal of the State as provided by Law. The final disposal of such officials will be decided by the Government which shall result from the elections to the Constituent Assembly. [Page 113] Officials who have already been placed en disponibilité by decisions of Ministers will be submitted to the decision of the Council above-mentioned. No official will be dismissed solely on account of his political opinion.

Article VIII—Purge of Security Services

The purge of the Security Services, the Gendarmerie and City Police will be carried out as soon as possible by special purge committees on the same basis as the purge of the Civil Service. All officers and other ranks of the above Corps who fall under the provisions of the Amnesty Law, who, during the period of the occupation, joined the ranks of ELAS, ELAN or the National Civil Guard, will return to their positions and will be considered by the purge Councils in the same manner as the rest of their colleagues. All the officers and other ranks of the above Corps who left their positions between the 3rd December, 1944, and the date of signature of “the present document shall be placed en disponibilité, their final disposal being left for the decision of Councils to be constituted by the Government arising from the elections.

Article IX—Plebiscite and elections

At the earliest possible date and in any case within the current year there shall be conducted in complete freedom and with every care for its genuineness a plebiscite, which shall finally decide on the Constitutional question, all points being submitted to the decision of the people. Thereafter shall follow as quickly as possible elections to a Constituent Assembly for the drafting of the new Constitution of the country. The Representatives of both sides agree that for the verification of the genuineness of the expression of the popular will the great Allied Powers shall be requested to send observers.

Of this present agreement two similar copies have been made, whereof the one has been received by the Government Delegation and the other by the Delegation of EAM.

In Athens, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12th February, 1945.

The Delegation of the Central Committee of EAM
  • G. Siantos
  • D. Partsalides
  • E. Tsirimokos

The Delegation of the Hellenic Government
  • J. Sofianopoulos
  • J. Macropoulos
  • P. Rallis

The Secretary of the Conference
  • G. Varsamis
  1. Greek text was given to the Embassy by the Greek Foreign Office on February 12, and English translation was sent to the Department as enclosure to despatch 635, March 6, 1945, not printed. While the agreement was officially signed at Athens, the terms of the agreement were reached at Varkiza and it is known as the Varkiza Agreement.
  2. Joint statement by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill, August 14, 1941, Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, p. 367.
  3. Conference between President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill, and Soviet Chairman (Premier) Stalin, at Tehran, November 27–December 1, 1943, Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943.
  4. Not printed.