Dr. Alex Bebler

Peace and Greece


The Greek Army on the United States Payroll

We have already said that the so-called American Economic Aid to Greece was actually not given for the reconstruction of the economy of Greece, but that almost all the credits have been used for waging war against the Greek people, i.e. for military purposes: for supplying, arming and expanding the armed forces of the Athens Government. To this end a military group was attached to the American Mission, headed by General Livesay. At the beginning the Mission elaborated a plan according to which half of the sum total was to be spent for military purposes, viz. 150 million dollars. However, it soon became evident that this sum would not be sufficient and it was raised by an additional 9 million dollars. Even this was not sufficient in the opinion of the Mission. The so-called battalions of the National Guard were to be increased from 40 to 100; and 12,000 recruits were to be sought for the regular army. In this connection the Mission granted an additional 50 million dollars for military expenditure. Thus the total sum reserved for military purposes reached 174 million dollars and the Mission was obliged to shorten by three months the period during which the economic program had been intended to operate—from June 31 to March 31, 1948—with the provision that during the period of these three months there was to be only military expenditure.

In the report issued by the American Mission on March 12, 1948, the anniversary of the proclamation of the "Truman Doctrine", it is said that since the arrival of the Mission in Greece "more than 60 million dollars worth of major items for the land and air forces alone have actually been received in Greece, and further shipments of such material, of considerable value, will continue to arrive at regular intervals." However, General Livesay, Chief of the Military Group of the American Mission, declared in an interview given to the press on January 13, 1948, that over 100 million dollars had been spent for the equipment of the Greek Army up to that time, and that the total quantity of military items imported by January 23, 1948, amounted to 90,070 tons.

The fact that the whole monarcho-fascist army, the so-called National Guard, the gendarmerie and the police are today on the payroll of the United States of America is not concealed even by official American circles. In the above mentioned report it is said, "Since the 1st of September last, the United States has furnished food rations for every Greek soldier, for every member of the Navy, Air Force and National Defense Battalions, every member of the gendarmerie and every policeman. It has issued all replacements of uniforms and new uniforms to meet all increases in the Armed Forces."

If we keep in mind that the above-mentioned huge sums, increased in 1948 by a military credit of approximately 250 million dollars, have been spent for military purposes and for war material in the limited sense, mainly for arms and equipment; that similar huge sums have been spent for products supposedly intended for peaceful purposes but which were, in fact, used by the army; that the so-called reconstruction of the country is serving exclusively military purposes, such as the widening of roads from S to 9 meters for the use of mechanized units, the reconstruction of the ports of Pyraeus, Salonika, Alexandropolis, Kavala and others, of the airfields of Kozana, Seres, Kavala, etc., and the construction of various roads and bridges for strategic purposes, then it becomes clear why so little remained for the economic reconstruction proper.

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