The Ambassador in Athens (MacVeagh) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 12—8:20 p.m.]
256. Messrs. Siantos, Partsalides and Tsirimokos who signed the Varkiza Agreement for EAM called on me this morning after having previously visited the Regent and British Ambassador to protest alleged violations of agreement on part of Government and to ask me as representative of one of the powers participating in Yalta [Page 117] Conference to support immediate formation here of a “representative government in the spirit of the Yalta Agreement”.47
After reviewing events leading up to revolution which he described as an attack on EAM when it was simply trying to resist “the Papandreou Government’s coup d’état” Siantos said that EAM has more than fulfilled its basic obligation under the terms of the Varkiza Agreement namely the disarmament of ELAS. He then went on to say that while the Government undertook, under that agreement, to protect the civil rights of the people and the freedom of the press, and to form a truly national army, it has failed to do any of these things. It has used its armed forces and organized bands to institute a reign of terror, and while permitting the publication of Leftist newspapers, has deliberately interfered with their circulation. In connection with the national army he said that EAMites and EAM sympathizers among the mobilized classes are being rejected on one pretext or another, so that the new army is being built up as a strictly one party body, armed against EAM at the moment when EAM has been deprived of arms. He expressed it as his view that Greece is clearly moving toward a “dictatorial police state governed by collaboration[ist]s”. He said that EAM sees no solution except the formation of a genuinely representative government and that this is what he and his colleagues have urged on the Regent and the British Ambassador.
I pointed out to the Leftist leaders that violence must be expected as the result of violence, and that care and restraint on both sides are now necessary if the country is to get back on its feet. I told them that American opinion will never support tyranny of any kind but that my Government is not creating governments in liberated countries, and that what it hopes is that the Greeks may get together to insure America’s chief interest here namely the freedom and welfare of the Greek people.
It would appear from the above that the Leftists, who waited in vain for Russia to support them in their revolt, are now looking to “Yalta” to put them back where they started from. In regard to their charges against the Government I am informed that the Regent’s reply to similar representations was to declare his firm determination to abide [Page 118] by the terms of the Varkiza Agreement, and it would seem that real efforts are being made in this direction against great natural difficulties in the present state of public feeling. However, officials civil and military are human and retaliation for ELAS offenses is unquestionably widespread, as is also provocation on the part of ELAS, made possible by the liberal terms of the peace. Meanwhile, the complaints of the conquered make better “news” than the assurances of the victors and it is evident that the activity now being employed by the Leftist leaders in this connection has already had some effect on the Russian and Liberal press.
- This refers to the “Declaration on Liberated Europe” which was embodied in the “Protocol of the Proceedings of the Crimea Conference” as Section II; for the text of the Yalta Protocol, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, p. 975. The pertinent lines of Section II read: “… the three governments will jointly assist the people in any European liberated state … where in their judgment conditions require … to form interim governmental authorities broadly representative of all democratic elements in the population and pledged to the earliest possible establishment through free elections of governments responsive to the will of the people; and … to facilitate where necessary the holding of such elections. …”↩