7. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State 1

8046. Subject: Views of PM Markezinis.

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I talked briefly to PM Markezinis today regarding recent developments,2 expressing favorable impression which President Papadopoulos and his reference to the importance of elections and political normalization had made. I said I personally regretted that it had been considered necessary to declare martial law throughout the country,3 adding the hope it would be of brief duration.
Markezinis said martial law had been required because subversive plot had clearly developed. He hoped need for martial law would be very brief and that progress on political front would be resumed. He thought that decisive intervention of army would make clear to the country and the politicians that the path to democracy could and would be restored through the efforts of the present government. I repeated the point that prompt removal of martial law could give the impression of strength.
Markezinis confirmed he was to have made important political announcement at his November 17 press conference. He said he very much appreciated my words and expressed hope to have more extended conversation with me this coming week.
Thrust of my exchange with Markezinis was to get message to him and Papadopoulos that we appreciated continued emphasis on political progress, understood efforts of subversive elements, as Papadopoulos stated, to seek to cause political program to fail, and to encourage them to lift martial law and get on with the political program. Markezinis said he will pass thoughts to Papadopoulos.
Incidentally I should stress that available intelligence just prior to the demonstrations gave a clear indication that prospects of full participation of old political world were quite promising, a fact which could not fail to disturb Andreas Papandreou (and his stooge in Washington, Demetracopoulos), as well as other extremist elements.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 594, Country Files, Middle East, Greece, Vol. IV. Secret; Immediate; Exdis.
  2. In airgram A–322 from Athens, November 9, the Embassy reported that the resumption of university classes for the fall-winter term also brought the return of student “dissidence sparked by academic and intra-professional woes as well as political unhappiness with the Papadopoulos/Markezinis era.” (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 13–2 GREECE)
  3. In the early hours of November 17, the Greek armed forces cracked down on increased protests. In telegram 8037 from Athens, November 17, the Embassy called the move a “setback to ongoing GOG efforts to return Greece to more normal pattern of political life.” (Ibid., RG 84, Athens Embassy Files: Lot 77 F 105, Embassy/Athens Political Files, 1973, Box 9, POL 23–8)