OPINION

May 11, 1952

MONTGOMERY: Recent statements by British Field Marshal Montgomery in Athens regarding a reduction in Greek defense forces has caused a stir among official diplomatic representatives of NATO member states in Athens, as well as among Greek military and political officials, and has led to the sudden arrival in Athens of representatives of the US State Department and Pentagon. An immediate response is expected from the Americans who were not given warning of the content of the statements by the deputy leader of the Atlantic forces, which covered issues of general military and economic importance for Greece (…). Field Marshal Montgomery’s speech has led to heightened concern among US diplomatic and political circles in Athens. KKE: Government sources who have been closely monitoring plans by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) have observed certain indications recently which, in combination with other events, point clearly to KKE goals for the near future. One of these is the reconstitution of the «democratic defense,» deduced from a broadcast on May 3 by an outlawed radio station which, in view of a tour by Field Marshal Alexandros Papagos, announced that «the people of Roumeli and Epirus will organize ‘democratic defense’ committees against ‘Papagos’s fascism.’» This slogan was reiterated the following day in the newspaper controlled by the «honest» EPEK party deputies.