MARCH 1, 1952

‘BLOOD RIFT’: Government sources confirmed yesterday’s reports in Kathimerini of a voluntary dissolution of the government. (…) According to the latest reports, there is strong opposition within the EPEK party to the execution of communists sentenced to death by the military courts. (…) Prime Minister Nikolaos Plastiras, surrounded by ministers and deputies from his party’s left wing claim that «it is not possible for a government under Gen. Plastiras to carry out executions. (Ed. note: Two days previously, the Royal Commissioner had asked for 12 death sentences.) In effect, this is a political maneuver aimed at winning communists’ votes. The EPEK group opposing the executions is trying at all costs, even including the fall of the government, to avert a «blood rift» between EPEK and the communists. These cadres suspect that in the government will remain only the number of officials needed for the executions to take place (…). The government will then fall and elections will be held. PLASTIRAS-PEURIFOY: Prime Minister Plastiras yesterday (February 29) received US Ambassador John Peurifoy (…). There was no discussion of any of the issues reported recently, such as the life expectancy of the government or the debate over whether to execute spies that might be sentenced to death by the military courts.

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