868.00/2–1747: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Greece


175. For your info and background in event local Greek press reports extensively on Sofianopoulos’1 visit to Washington. During past two weeks Sofianopoulos accompanied by Andre Michalopoulos has three times visited Dept. No unusual significance should be attached to length of interviews which were protracted because of Greeks’ verbosity nor to number of calls which resulted from Acheson’s2 inability to complete first interview and his absence because of illness when Sofianopoulos made second attempt to see him.

In brief, Sofianopoulos advanced as Greek political solution approximately same platform espoused by EAM; i.e., immediate formation [Page 23] govt. representing all parties; complete amnesty; disarming all illegal bands both Right and Left; purging civil service; rigorous tax measures; recompilation electoral lists; and new elections. All Dept. officers who talked with Sofianopoulos are convinced that he is soliciting support for his candidacy as Prime Minister.

Dept. explained frankly to Sofianopoulos that we agree with many of his views particularly that no real progress can be made in Greece until internal order is restored. For many months US has been recommending to Greek officials and party leaders that Govt, should be broadened sufficiently to gain confidence of majority of Greek people, that genuine measures should be taken for amnesty and disarming illegal bands. On economic side we have urged tax reforms, financial controls, and reorganization corrupt civil service. We do not share Sofianopoulos’ view that Communists are loyal Greeks willing to cooperate in moderate left-of-center program. It is our view that even though a minority, Communists would attempt to infiltrate important positions or paralyze Govt, administration if they could not by their aggressive methods orient Greeks toward USSR. It was made clear to Sofianopoulos however that exact composition of any broadened Govt, was matter which Greeks themselves would have to decide since ultimate purpose is wide cooperation of Greek parties hitherto unable to work together for general good of country.

Sent Athens; rpt London 777 Moscow 255.

  1. John Sofianopoulos, former Greek Foreign Minister.
  2. Dean G. Acheson, Under Secretary of State.