The Ambassador in Greece (MacVeagh) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 15—1:35 p.m.]
180. See my No. 175 of February 13.44a In a brief public statement following the signing of the peace agreement Plastiras said that he was sure that the agreement would bring a sense of relief to everyone because the civil war is over and the country will be united. This appears to have been the reaction of the greater part of the press and the public in Athens, which on the whole have welcomed the agreement, though somewhat tempering the warmth of their welcome by an attitude of “wait and see” with regard to the carrying out of its obligations by EAM. The extreme Rightist papers, however, continue bitterly to attack the Government for its policy of yielding and deplore the agreement as a victory for the Leftists. Elefthere Eliada, the official organ of EAM, which appeared on the streets yesterday for the first time since ELAS left Athens (and whose vendors are reported in several cases to have been mobbed and beaten), on the other hand, stated that EAM had made “every possible concession in order to reach an agreement”.
While it is perhaps too early to judge, it may be observed that the hostility of the extreme Rightists on the one hand and, on the other, the feeling of the Leftists that it is they who have conceded all along the line, are perhaps indications that the two delegations may have found a workable solution.
The crux of the matter would appear to be, as Sofianopoulos pointed out in his opening statement to the Conference (see my No. 136 of [Page 115] February 345) the question of ELAS disarmament. Here, if anywhere, the sincerity of EAM’s adherence to the agreement will be put to the test. It is worth noting therefore in this connection that the number of weapons which EAM has agreed to surrender is considerably in excess according to my information of what the British military had hoped for; and that the 14-day limit set for collection of those weapons will, in effect, oblige EAM to declare its intentions with regard to the whole agreement, before the end of February.