February 27, 1959

VENIZELOS’S PROPHECY: In yesterday’s session of Parliament, where tensions ran high after the government’s announcement of the Zurich and London agreements on the Cyprus issue, leader of the Liberal Party Sophocles Venizelos was the first to take the floor with a speech that was unusually virulent. He called the agreements «a humiliation» for the nation and said his party did not see that it was binding on the country. Foreign Minister Evangelos Averoff said Venizelos’s criticisms were petty, and a fight subsequently broke out between deputies of the ruling National Radical Union (ERE) party and the Liberals. After a break, Averoff explained that the government had agreed to the accords as the solution it offered was better than those that had previously been suggested. Ilias Iliou, representing the United Democratic Left (EDA), said the agreement would not be possible to implement, and that EDA would not recognize it. A similar statement was made by the Democratic Union party. Venizelos said in conclusion that the Zurich and London agreements only had the approval of the government, which represented just 40 percent of the people of Greece. «I am not a prophet of doom,» he said, «but I fear… it will usher in more troubles for the nation.»

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