50 Years Ago Today

PAPAGOS’S REJECTION: King Paul’s decisions regarding a solution to the government crisis are to be announced by the end of today. After yesterday’s royal appeal to Messrs. (Alexandros) Papagos, (Sophocles) Venizelos and (Nikolaos) Plastiras to form a coalition government, and after the departure of the leaders of the Greek Rally and EPEK parties, the prime minister (Venizelos) stayed on for half an hour to talk to the king. (..) The impression gained by the prime minister, according to friends, is that the king will ask the leader of the EPEK party, Mr. Plastiras, to form a government in cooperation with the Liberals Party. The king, following the breakdown of yesterday’s appeal, has given up all hope of a coalition between Field Marshal Papagos and any party or parties. (…) Yesterday’s meeting at the palace had the sole purpose of trying to convince Papagos to change his mind, giving him the following solutions: 1) Coalition between Greek Rally, Liberals and EPEK, led by Papagos; 2) Greek Rally-EPEK or Greek Rally-Liberals supported by EPEK, and 3) Greek Rally-EPEK, supported by Liberals. Papagos countered these proposals with the view that only the dissolution of Parliament and the holding of elections, which would give the government to the party that gained a relative majority (that is his own) was the correct proceeding. The recent defense ministers’ summit in Brussels confirmed Washington’s intention to conceal the details of the nascent military response.

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