Dr. Alex Bebler
I can now point out one consequence of this development: the Athens government and its foreign protectors have lost their main "argument," viz. that the guerrilla fighting in Greece is localized to areas in the northern parts 0f Greece, which allegedly proves that the figting is inspired and supported liv Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania.
Today, however, it is precisely in the Peloponnesus, hundreds of kilometers from the northern frontiers and surrounded by the sea, that the national uprising has attained its most spectacular growth and has had its most significant successes. The Greek newspaper Estia of August 27 stated, "On the Peloponnesus banditism has an undeniable originality. There the bandits are on the one hand among the population, which has always notably shown its faith in national ideals and respect for law; and on the other hand, they are not near the frontiers of the satellites of Russia." The Peloponnesus, which the newspaper Elephteria of August 29th, 1948, calls the "cradle of individualism bordering on reaction," and the newspaper Laiki Gnoini of August 30 describes as the "conscious cradle of ancient Hellenism" — this Peloponnesus, this "cradle of individualism" and of "ancient Hellenism," today participates in the movement which is called "Slavophil" and "Communist."
We may very well understand the despair of the rightist newspaper Akropolis of September 21, 1948, which asks, "Do we wish to arm the Russians at the General Assembly of the United Nations to oppose our case? It can easily be achieved! Let us leave the Peloponnesus in the hands of Markos. Vyshinsky could not wish for a better argument!"
But the cries of distress of the newspaper Akropolis cannot alter the fact that the flames of widespread national insurgency have swept the Peloponnesus, and no argument could prove that this revolt has been instigated, aided or organized by Yugoslavia. This uprising, like the uprisings throughout Greece, is an answer to the ever-increasing intervention of the United States of America in Greece and the mounting terrorism of the Athens Government.
Akropolis in the above mentioned article furthermore admitted: "There is not a single inch of Peloponnese soil which is not suffering from the partisan illness of banditism...Grammos has fallen, Murgana is subjected, we are victorious on the Kaymakchalan, while the land of Peloponnesus is not free...The bandit is lurking everywhere, ragged, but armed, fearless, impudent...to show that he is the master of the situation in the immediate vicinity of the town, although he does not enjoy the advantage of others who are able to flee to Albania or to the Slays in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. The Peloponnese partisans are operating...in a limited area surrounded by the sea. Why should we not say so?"
Ethnikos Kinks of August 6, 1948 prints the report of P. Sotiropulos, a member of the Greek Parliament, concerning the situation in the Peloponnesus, in which he says, among other things: "The Province of Aegolia is wholly in the hands of the bandits (i.e. partisans); they have organized a militia, a revenue department and other services, and they have established all regular State services. Only the town of Egion remains unoccupied, and it is besieged."
The newspaper Laiki Gnomi of August 30, 1948, asked in surprise: "How is it possible that the bandit (i.e. partisan) is able there (on the Peloponnesus) to attack large inhabited centers, to knock at the doors of Patras, to enter Egion...How is it possible that the almighty Markos, defeated in the north, wins in the south? What is happening?"