71. Memorandum From A. Denis Clift of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)1
- Coup Plotting in Greece
[less than 1 line not declassified] Greece’s former King Constantine may be having second thoughts about throwing his support to three groups in Greece planning to overthrow Prime Minister Caramanlis’ government (Tab A).2
An earlier September report3 stated that Constantine had directed his choice for prime minister, Spyros Theotokis, to make contact with the plotters—the royalists, former junta sympathizers and followers of [Page 250] George Papadopoulos—and indicate the King’s support for the coup. While in Athens, Theotokis was unable to meet with key plotters or discover more about their plans. Theotokis’ contact in Athens stated that he was being closely watched.
After returning from Athens, Theotokis reported this to Constantine who stated: “At least we have a Prime Minister in Greece who is respected in Europe and a democratic government which is recognized by the world. I wonder if I should have got mixed up with plotters of whose integrity and seriousness of purpose I am ignorant.” Constantine continued that he fears the plotters will either act successfully without his knowledge and undercut his position or create prolonged violence that the Turks could use to their advantage. Theotokis then tried to strengthen Constantine’s resolve.
This report tends to reinforce the CIA analysis we forwarded to you on October 14 which stated that the plotters are not well organized and that the Caramanlis government is closely watching the situation.