50 Years Ago Today

POLITICAL PROBLEM: The election results have produced an extremely complicated situation that hinges on the Greek Rally party (…) as the main party, as it has a relative majority in the new Parliament. However, it lacks an absolute majority (…). Consequently Alexandros Papagos will not be able to form an independent government. ELECTIONS AND PAPAGOS: The result of last Sunday’s elections have created a political stalemate as it appears no one will be able to form a government. (…). Field Marshal Papagos has categorically rejected any offers for a coalition with other parties. Given that not even the alliance of Sophocles Venizelos and Nikolaos Plastiras enjoys an absolute majority (unless with the support of the communist left, which Venizelos absolutely rules out), it appears impossible for a government to emerge from these elections. Even if the Liberals and EPEK parties had an absolute majority, they would not be able to cooperate as Plastiras has shown complete intransigence in relation to Venizelos, asking that the Liberals accept EPEK’s position on an amnesty for the communists (…). Political circles believe that in view of this situation, there is no option but to dissolve Parliament and hold fresh elections under the majority system. If Denktash finally returns to the negotiations and adopts a more flexible position, Clerides will most probably have to face two painful dilemmas. Western pressure will primarily be brought to bear on Nicosia, which will succumb to behind-the-scenes blackmail of this kind: that unless it makes the necessary compromises, the Europeans will hold it responsible for the failure of the talks so that they can then renege on their obligations. For this reason, the refusal of the Turkish-Cypriot leader, despite the perils that it may entail, for the time favors Greek interests.

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