Dr. Alex Bebler

Peace and Greece


Crumbs and Fetters

The same newspaper published on July 6 and 7, 1948—at the time of the signing of the agreement implementing the Marshall Plan in Greece—two successive articles entitled: "Our Chains—the Loss of our Political Independence." In these it is said: "Our enemies devastated and looted us and now we receive from our rich friends crumbs with fetters, alms with enslavement, a piece of bread with the loss of our independence and pride; and if we dare to say anything, we are treated literally like dogs…(I must beg the pardon of the Honorable Delegates, but I am quoting literally from the Athens press.) The American Mission, not our King, has the right to dismiss Ministers. The conditions for aid are conditions which supress our freedom. They enslave and humiliate us. They subordinate our Government, they force our people's representatives—as the Parliament is called—(this ironic remark is by the same Athenian newspaper) under the threat of 'we won't give you anything', to become servants of the foreigners, who pass laws without any discussion and even without understanding what the lowest ranking officials of the American organization drew up. Such conditions oblige us to fall on our knees, to pray our masters to tie us, to prepare fetters; compel us to bow to them with respect, to stretch our hands so that they can put fetters on them. No nation, even the defeated one, even the uncivilized or the slaves, is unworthy of freedom; yet no nation, either the backward, the Negroes, the Red Indians or the yellow races are as humiliated or as fettered as the Greeks. No regime of a Neubacher was as violent as the present regime. It is a lie that a sovereign Greece exists; Greece is enslaved, and enslaved more than any country, either victorious, or defeated or neutral."

Such is the "independence" of this country, as the Greek press itself pictures it. In fact, there is no independence at all and, therefore, it cannot be threatened by any of the northern neighbors of Greece. It is in vain that the observer groups of the anti-Balkan Commission are searching on the northern borders of Greece for Romanian buttons on the jackets of Greek partisans. This Commission could not and will never be able to talk louder than the facts.1

1. About the most tangible "proof" adduced by the Balkan Commission in support of the charge that the war in Greece arises from interference by that country's neighbors, was the discovery of some allegedly Romanian buttons on a few Greek partisans' jackets.

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