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Enlarged Photograph (67kB)

Relations between Greece and Britain

The liberation of occupied Europe
The new actualities
The political conjuncture in the autumn of 1944The rift between the two sides
The Varkiza Peace Agreement

The political conjuncture in the autumn of 1944

The political problems that arose during the autumn of 1944 were discussed in lengthy negotiations between Papandreou and the left-wing ministers in the government. Undoubtedly, both the Prime Minister and the British government were aware of the fact that ELAS continued to possess a superior military force and the strategic advantage in the largest part of the Greek territory. For this reason, Papandreou's tactics was now based on dissolving the ELAS units and disarming their fighters. This tactics was intended to restore the government's political and military control over the country after the liberation. The negotiations proved time-consuming but led to an agreement which allowed ELAS only one unit. A final deadline (10 December 1944) was given both to ELAS and EDES for this voluntary dissolution.

However, by that time the KKE had started to alter its initial conciliatory attitude, now adopting a more intransigent policy towards Papandreou's government. The refusal of the KKE leadership to execute the agreement for the dissolution of ELAS constituted the first ominous indication that the differences between the government and KKE were extremely difficult to resolve. This new complication developed into a new government crisis which led to the resignation of all left-wing ministers from the national unity government. The crisis was further aggravated through the intervention of the British government which authorised Scobie to use the British military forces against any form of domestic unpheaval.

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