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Enlarged Photograph (55kB)

Relations between Greece and Britain

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

The Varkiza Peace Agreement

Fearing that the British might strengthen their military presence in Greece was an additional stimulus in ELAS' decision to return to the negotiating table and to eventually accept a compromise solution. The agreement was signed at Varkiza (outside Athens) in February 1945, that is a month after the cease-fire, and reiterated the condition of the decommissioning of weapons by ELAS in return for general amnesty which the Plastiras government would grant for political crimes.

At the same time, another crucial demand of the ELAS leadership, which had been ignored by the Papandreou government, was now accepted. That was the arrest and punishment of all those who had participated in the Security Units (Tagmata Asfalias) or had collaborated in any way with the occupying forces and the pseudo-governments of the 1941-1944 period. This condition was linked to the composition of the police forces and the armed forces of Greece, since ELAS continued to maintain that there was a great number of "collaborators" in their ranks.

As for the constitutional issue, the conflicts which became evident throughout 1944, when George II refused to accept the condition of the plebiscite and the British government encouraged him to stick to his intransigent position, seemed now to abate, thanks to another compromise formula. The appointment of Archbishop Damaskinos as Regent was accepted both by the Greek and the British governments in order to supervise the plebiscite for the return or not of George II. The route to constitutional and political normalisation also involved the promise for holding honest elections in 1946.

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