The United States and the Making of Modern Greece: History and Power, 1950-1974

By James Edward Miller | Go to book overview

5
COUP D'ÉTAT, 1964–1967

The Ceaseless Struggle is not only history. It is both present and future.

— Andreas Papandreou, April 1965

The hour of the unknown colonel is arriving.

— Spyridon Markezinis, February 1967

In June 1963, Guy de Girard de Charbonniere, the French ambassador in Athens, analyzed the “American presence in Greece” for his superiors in Paris. By announcing that it would terminate all its grant-aid programs the United States was moving further away from its role as protector power. “Since 1952 we can document no U.S. [internal] interventions, and our files are quite complete.” The United States, of course, remained by far the most significant foreign presence in Greece. Its military assistance programs enabled the Greeks to field and pay for a respectable modern army. Its economic assistance programs helped Greece avoid balance-of-payment problems while they fueled economic growth. Overall, U.S. private capital had played a relatively limited role in the Greek economy, with the exception of the movie industry. Films, however, played a significant role in a strong American cultural presence. While the era of an American “protectorate” was over and Greece enjoyed “full sovereignty and independence,” state and society were extremely sensitive to U.S. views.1

This positive assessment of the U.S. role in Greece, reflecting success in reducing American commitments while maintaining U.S. influence at a premium, as well as the stability of Greece's democratic experiment, was being overtaken by events even as the French ambassador wrote. Karamanlis's resignation, the election of George Papandreou, the Cyprus crisis, and a harsher internal political climate plunged Greece into a crisis that divided its ruling elites and ultimately sparked a military coup. As the major Greek political factions turned to it for assistance, the United States reluctantly and slowly assumed a mediation role. The inability of U.S. officials to promote a

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The United States and the Making of Modern Greece: History and Power, 1950-1974
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Abbreviations in the Text xv
  • Introduction - Manifest Destiny Meets the Megali Idea 1
  • 1: The Greek Tar Baby, 1950–1953 23
  • 2: No Report from Cyprus is Ever Cheerful, 1950–1959 44
  • 3: The Right, 1953–1963 66
  • 4: Black Mak Cyprus, 1960–1964 84
  • 5: Coup D'état, 1964–1967 111
  • 6: The Andreas Version, 1967–1973 136
  • 7: Dancing with the Dictators, 1969–1974 157
  • 8: A Perfect Storm 1967–1974 176
  • Epilogue: The Andreas Era 201
  • Notes 213
  • Bibliography 281
  • Index 295
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