February 20, 1953

PRAISE: The visit by the minister for coordination, Mr Spyros Markezinis, to northern Greece was undoubtedly a major political event because it was there, as had been predicted, that he chose to announce not only the first government measures to support farmers, merchants and the self-employed in the countryside, but a major program for the execution of production. We had all surmised something of Mr Markezinis’s plans, but must admit that we had only barely guessed at the full truth. The top man in the Greek Rally party, who was appointed by the prime minister, Field Marshal Alexandros Papagos, to head the the most important sector of government activity, does not usually reveal his plans before he has completed them nor before he considers the time is right to implement them. (…) In announcing his decision to carry out these major projects, Mr Markezinis allowed his thoughts a free rein. «Greece’s political history has been through periods of triumph and periods of decline. Historic landmarks in that history have been the figures of Ioannis Kapodistrias, Harilaos Tricoupis, Eleftherios Venizelos and Alexandros Papagos. Venizelos’s star was particularly bright, because his name was linked with the execution of major productive works. And it would be criminal if we now, when Greece is in urgent need of reconstruction, left the huge potential offered by the presence at the head of the government of the praiseworthy Field Marshal Papagos to go untapped.»