January 10, 1953

ALCIDE DE GASPERI: Italian Prime Minister Alcide de Gasperi flew into Athens yesterday afternoon (…) and was received by King Pavlos. (…) He then visited the prime minister, Field Marshal Alexandros Papagos, with whom he spoke for three-quarters of an hour. (…) Foreign correspondents in Athens and Rome report that at the top of their agenda are the Balkan defense problems and that Greece’s policy is aimed at mediating between Italy and Yugoslavia (in their dispute over Trieste). STAVROS KOSTOPOULOS: The letter of resignation written by Stavros Kostopoulos and submitted to the board of the National Bank (following the decision made without his knowledge by Minister for Coordination Spyros Markezinis to merge the National with the Bank of Athens) is as follows: «(…) You are aware that since I agreed to assume the leadership of the National Bank of Greece, my only concern has been to offer my services to the foundation with which the country’s economic life has been linked for 100 years. I hope that you will recognize my right to a heightened sensitivity on personal issues after 25 years in public life and because of certain family traditions. If the government wishes to assume responsibility for a policy for which it does not hesitate to call a general assembly by virtue of its shares in the bank, then my duty to the foundation is clear. Therefore I submit my resignation as governor of the National Bank of Greece (…).»

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