February 2, 1956

ARMY AND THE ELECTIONS: The prime minister, Mr Constantine Karamanlis, made the following statement last night: «The information on which Mr Sophocles Venizelos based his statements today is incorrect, just as his fears are unfounded. The armed forces are and will remain far removed from politics. In any case, the caretaker minister who has been placed at their head, General Stergiopoulos, has also served as a caretaker minister for the Venizelos government and his reputation could not be doubted by anyone.» The prime minister was replying to statements made last night by the leader of the Liberal Democratic Union, Mr Sophocles Venizelos, to the effect that a large number of military officers had been seeking ways to influence the electorate (in view of the general elections scheduled for February 19, 1956), such as printing and distributing proclamations with a pro-communist content at army camps and organizing groups of officers to masquerade as outlaws. Mr Venizelos said that while these reports were no doubt monstrous, he nevertheless considered it his duty, as he said, to warn the government accordingly.

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