May 7, 2010


(Greece - No stranger to drama, even in 1947)

With the latest financial crisis enveloping Greece at the moment, I'm reminded that conflict and crisis are no strangers to Athens and its environs.

In 1947, Greece was consumed by a Civil War, one that had raged on and off since 1944 but erupted into a full-scale conflict in 1946 with forces of the Greek Communist Party and government forces backed by Great Britain and the U.S. Because it was the Cold War, fear in Washington was The Soviet Union would gain a presence in Greece and the result would be a Soviet Satellite on the Mediterranean.

So Truman drafted legislation that would result in a $400 million ideological balance of power in the region well into the 1960s.

John Donovan (NBC News Cairo): “Great interest has been centered on the Acting Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s remarks before the House of Representatives yesterday. The Middle East followed Mister Acheson’s statement carefully because of his reference to those countries to the east and south of Turkey. In Greece the rebels are looking to Washington to see how quickly and how effectively the United States acts on President Truman’s request for emergency aid to Greece. The immediate effect of President Truman’s statement of a new Foreign Policy for the United States has been to halt the Spring offensive. Planned by the rebels against the Greek government. This winter, while in the Macedonian mountains with Greek Guerrillas, Rebel chieftains told me of their plans for an all out revolution which would carry them to Athens.”

The above is from the newscast, NBC World News Roundup from March 12, 1947. In addition to the crisis in Greece, attention was also focused on the Big Four Conference in Paris. Those and other stories are included. Then as now, it wasn't just about Greece, but a lot of other factors.

Nothing is ever simple.

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