Olive Sutton

Murder Inc. in Greece



It is against this kind of economic and political colonization that the people of Greece are fighting. During the years of resistance to the German occupation, the Greek people envisaged a free postwar Greece, without King and without foreign interference.

They call their present battle a "continuation of the struggle of World War II" and the first-line offensive against the makers of World War III.

The Provisional Democratic Government, announced by General Markos in December, sprang from a small area near Grevena. There, in 1946, Greeks elected the first People's Council, established schools for their children and started the first "battle of the grain," cultivation of wheat to feed their Army.

Markos was a tobacco worker and Communist who had organized the E.L.AS. in Macedonia early in the war. Today his Democratic Army numbers over 50,000 troops and has liberated more than 70 per cent of Greece. It has occupied towns within 20 miles of Athens. The people have set up over 200 schools, two universities, nearly 1,000 People's Councils, People's Courts, and a Court of Appeals.

With the establishment of their own Democratic government, the Greek people have declared the Athens government illegal, maintained by force of foreign arms. They have named the quislings who are collaborating with the State Department—men like Constantine Tsaldaris, spy for the Hungarian Nazi regime during the war, who turned information over to the Germans for use against the British and Americans. Men like Napoleon Zervas, chief of the Security Battalions for the Nazis and for the Royalists until last September, who at this date is visiting in the United States, mostly in Washington.

The Communist Party is prominent in the new government of Greece, as it is in most of the new democracies which have emerged from the people's liberation movements.

It led in the formation of the E.A.M., and ,was the creator of the E.L.A.S. liberation army. Its program then was the coalition program—worked out on the basis of the demands of the people, accumulated over many years of dictatorship and war. The Atlantic Charter's guarantee of self-determination was its kingpin.

When E.A.M. delegations went to the Athens government in the hope of working out reconciliation, they presented proposals for a coalition which would include representatives of all Greek political parties. The one condition was withdrawal of all foreign troops. They urged a genuine amnesty, establishment of a provisional government, and a new, free election—'without terror, without the threat of foreign arms.

Today the situation has changed. The Democratic government has no quarter for political leaders who have permitted Greece to be colonized by American finance and armaments. It is willing to deal only with democratic political parties which stand and fight for Greek independence. Accordingly, it has gone ahead with an amnesty program of its own, based on the "reconciliation" principle—the unity of the whole Greek people. It permits any Greek citizen to join its fight for liberation without fear of reprisal for past acquiescence to the monarcho-fascist policies.

The Democratic government has also proceeded with nationalization of the large landed estates. King Paul's 8,000—acre estate in Thessaly, for instance, has been divided among peasants dispossessed by the ravages of the Royalist Army.

It guarantees trade union rights—the right to strike, the 40-hour week, vacations. The lockout is outlawed.

It guarantees free education—furnishes textbooks and other equipment, and provides education in their own language for the Slavic and Turkish national groups.

It has initiated special measures to alleviate the economic difficulties of the people living in liberated territory, such as liquidating all debts payable to the agricultural bank. One of its biggest projects is the constant resettlement of peasants displaced by the attacks of the Royalists.

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