Greece: Monarchy Vs. Republicanism

June 14, 1967

Report Outline
Dictatorship in Birthplace of Democracy
Forces in the Shaping of Modern Greece
U.S. Aid to Greece; Question of Cyprus

Dictatorship in Birthplace of Democracy

The military takeover in Greece a few weeks ago had ample precedent in that ancient land, the birthplace of democracy. It was the sixth coup d'état in Greece in the present century, though only the first of direct interest to the United States. Greece has been an object of American concern since 1947, when this country undertook the responsibility of saving Greek freedom from submergence by Communist insurrection. Aid to Greece, and also to Turkey, under what became known as the Truman Doctrine, instituted Washington's postwar global policy of containing communism.

The Greek army, instrument of the latest seizure of power and displacement of constitutional government, has been supplied with American arms, equipment and organizational know-how over the past 20 years. At the latest accounting, in mid-1966, U. S. aid to Greece had reached an aggregate value of $3.5 billion, divided almost equally between military and economic assistance. The flow of military aid, now far greater than that of economic aid, constitutes a potent weapon for Americans to use in trying to nudge the new Greek regime back toward constitutional government. Some military shipments already have been held back, at least for the time being.

Generally, the American government has been taking a cautious wait-and-see approach toward developments in Athens, perhaps in fear of contributing to further strife in the land of a Nato ally. Greece and Turkey anchor the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the eastern Mediterranean, facing toward the turbulent Middle East in one direction and toward Russia in another. The military junta in Greece has vowed that it will maintain the country's Nato ties and pursue an anti-Communist course. But there is concern lest its coming to power touch off a new round in the now-dormant but still unresolved dispute with Turkey over conditions in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

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