The Greek Government-in-Exile, 1941–44
Since its inception in the 1830s, Greece, to a greater or lesser extent, has found herself in a dependent relationship towards the Great Powers.1 Even if the ‘external factor’ has not always had such a determining influence on the course of Greece’s foreign relations and domestic politics as is sometimes claimed, it is nonetheless undeniable that there has been a consistent pattern of Great Power pressure on, interference with, and intervention in Greek affairs. Some of the more flagrant external interventions occurred with the British and French occupation of Piraeus between 1854 and 1857 in an effort to neutralize any Greek attempt to profit from the discomfiture of the Ottoman Empire during the Crimean War; in the imposition of a naval blockade in 1886, again to thwart Greek efforts to make any move in Macedonia; in the establishment of an International Financial Control Commission in the aftermath of Greece’s disastrous defeat in the Greek–Turkish war of 1897; in the pressure exercised by the Entente Powers on Greece during the First World War which culminated in the departure of King Constantine I from Greece in June 1917; and, above all, in the armed intervention by British troops on behalf of the Papandreou government during the communist insurgency of December 1944. A common factor in all these instances of intervention was the leading role played by Great Britain. For Britain fulfilled the role of Greece’s principal external patron from 1832 until 1947, when her traditional hegemony was assumed by the United States with the enunciation of the Truman Doctrine, by which the United States undertook to support the efforts of ‘free peoples’ struggling to resist subversion by armed minorities.
KeywordsPrime Minister Middle East British Government Greek Government Territorial Claim
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