August 16, 1953

DECREE BY KING PAUL: The king, who is inspecting earthquake damage in the Ionian Islands, has issued the following decree to the people of Greece: «The queen and myself have visited the quake-stricken areas of the Ionian Islands. The destruction we saw was beyond description. Where once were rich and beautiful towns there is now nothing but rubble. Homeless people are still sleeping out in the open, bodies are being dragged out from collapsed homes and the injured are taking shelter in tents. Children are trying to find refuge in their parents’ arms, and the elderly are seeking the support of their children. I call on all Greeks to do whatever they can to contribute to the appeal set up by my government and headed by the Athens Archdiocese.(…).» (signed) Paul II. NO REFUGEES FROM IONIAN ON MAINLAND: The very serious question of whether or not to abandon the three Ionian islands struck by earthquakes (Cephalonia, Zakynthos and Ithaca) was discussed yesterday by the Coordinating Council headed by the prime minster, Field Marshal Alexandros Papagos (…). The government came to the decision not to allow the departure of 120,000 people from these islands to mainland Greece, in order to avoid creating a huge refugee problem. This decision is to be strictly implemented.