Joseph Hansen

Greek Premier Follows Allied Policy
of Counter-Revolution

(13 January 1945)

Source: The Militant, Vol. IX No. 2, 13 January 1945, pp. 1 & 3.
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The dance of puppets in the counter-revolutionary government which British imperialism is trying to impose on Greece continued this week with the spotlight shifting from the new regent, black-robed Archbishop Damaskinos, to his first premier, the be-medaled General Plastiras. This tubercular general was whisked by the British from his wheel chair on the French Riviera several weeks ago and flown to Athens to replace puppet Papandreou.

The new premier’s first public declaration was a demand that the Greek people lay down their arms. This signified a continuation of Churchill’s policy of blood and iron. “I don’t see how we are going to solve the present problem without bloodshed,” Plastiras announced on December 29 with grim cynicism, “because we are facing a plan that aims at provoking civil war to serve obscure foreign interests.” Plastiras, of course, is subject to Churchill’s orders to provoke civil war in order to maintain Britain’s economic and military grip on Greece.

When the Greek people swept King Constantine from the throne, forcing him to flee in a British battleship in 1922, Plastiras acted as dictator. Later the monarchy was again patched together. British imperialism obviously hopes that Plastiras will now be able to reenact his role, not as a farce this time but as a tragedy.

When he landed in Athens, December 12, he bitterly denounced the ELAS (Greek National Liberation Army) which is the fighting arm of the EAM (Greek Liberation Front). The cabinet set up by Plastiras is a body of British quislings.

While Churchill’s puppets gyrated madly about the political stage, Allied troops continued their ruthless warfare on the Greek people. Tanks, airplanes, heavy artillery proceeded against the partisans. According to latest reports, the ELAS has now been forced to withdraw from Athens.

The civil war is affecting the British soldiers assigned to carry out Churchill’s orders. According to N.Y. Times reporter John MacCormac, the alarm and uneasiness of the British public over continued use of troops has “now spread to English soldiers in Greece.” How the English soldiers manifest their “uneasiness” has not been revealed. But that they are reacting in an overt fashion is admitted by a “very senior British officer” in Athens, probably Scobie himself.

So rigid is the censorship in Greece that correspondents of the capitalist press are registering complaints. They are not permitted to interview any of the forces or leaders of the Greek masses. Their dispatches are extremely limited. The Plastiras police are rifling the offices and rooms of correspondents, seizing back copies of dispatches as well as copies of the Republican press. The Plastiras police are the same police organized by dictator Metaxas. They are the same police who shot down workers under the German occupation.

Greek journalists who know the internal situation well have been imprisoned. The muzzling of even the capitalist press indicates what kind of “Freedom of Press” the Atlantic Charter of Roosevelt and Churchill calls for in Greece.

The withdrawal of ELAS troops fulfills one of Scobie’s conditions for truce. His other condition was that ELAS should deliver its arms to the British. The withdrawal, however, did not induce Churchill’s general to relax his terms. He is following a principled line of counterrevolution and his orders are to pacify Greece no matter what the cost in bloodshed. He therefore answered the ELAS retreat from Athens by withdrawing his offer of truce. Apparently he sees victory within reach and intends to organize his forces to pursue and decimate the ELAS.

The remnants of the EDES, famed royalists fighting beside the British against the ELAS, were reported to have been evacuated by the British, from their former stronghold. Out of the original 12,000 members, only 1,000 were claimed as still remaining. The great majority of the EDES left the British-paid bandit general Zervas and joined the ELAS.

The appointment of Plastiras as premier changes nothing essential. Constantine Poulos, N.Y. Post correspondent, reports one observer as saying: “General Plastiras is one more of the old sores that the Greek political body must figuratively sweat out, and it’s better that we do so now than later.”

Were it not for the Allied counter-revolution, the “old sore” Plastiras would never have left his sun baths on the French Riviera. Such sores cannot be sweated out. They are the product of the gangrene of capitalism in its death agony. Only the surgery of socialist revolution can remove them.


Last updated on: 22 June 2018