The research in this book analyzes the economic development of Greece from 1950 through mid-1991. A thorough analysis of pre-1950 economic development is difficult because of the paucity of data before 1950. Additionally, economic development was seriously hindered during the 1940s as a result of the Nazi occupation and the Civil War which followed.
The wars left Greece literally devastated. Industry was virtually nonexistent and much of the infrastructure was destroyed. Greece, whose economy was primarily agricultural prior to the wars, suffered from shortages of food as well as medical supplies and basic industrial products. These initial difficulties were largely overcome by the strong influx of foreign aid and loans and foreign investment projects. This helped to perpetuate the already existing dependence on the West. (See James Petras 1984 and Jon Kofas 1989, among many others.)
Although the involvement of foreign powers in Greece began in the 1820s during Greece's war for independence from the Ottoman Empire, it was firmly reestablished during the Civil War when Great Britain and the United States intervened on behalf of the right-wing Greek forces. (See Dominique Eudes 1972, Kenneth Matthews 1972, and Philip Minehan 1983.) The result was the establishment in 1950 of a right-wing government under the control of military leaders.