Reasons for the Start of the Greek Civil War
THE VARKIZA AGREEMENT
ELAS' large and powerful army arranged some large scale and successful
actions against the fascist forces of the German, Italian and Bulgarian
occupiers of Greece. Such a large and powerful army as was formed by
the units of ELAS did not appeal to the exiled government of Greece,
which stayed in Cairo (Egypt) the whole time the fascists occupiers
were being fought.
The exiled government with the help of the English government began
to put huge pressure on the EAM coalition. They did not want under any
circumstances for there to be in Greece such a powerful army, especially
not one in the spirit of people's liberation. The English government
and the Greek government in exile knew that an army following people's
liberation ideals could easily establish its own government on the model
of other socialist countries.
At that time Georgias Sandos was a general secretary in the KPG. Under
great pressure from England, he was forced to send his own EAM Political
Commission delegation led by the socialist Zvolo to a meeting in free
The meeting was called for 17 May 1944. KPG, EAM, PEEA (Political Committee
for National Liberation) and other more minor parties participated.
On 20 May 1944 the Lebanon Agreement was signed on the one hand by
KPG, EAM and PEEA and on the other by the government in exile, EDES,
EKA and other more minor parties from Greece. With this document, agreement
had been reached for the establishment of a national government. In
the new government, KPG, EAM and PEEA were to have 25 per cent of the
ministry positions. Under the agreement it was envisaged that after
the liberation of the country a national army for Greece would be formed.
The formation of a national army meant in effect the dismantling of
the forces of ELAS.
At the meeting a new government was elected, with at its head as premier,
Georgios Papandreou. The chief ministries were also selected and after
the end of the meeting they immediately left for the territory that
had already been liberated.
Not all of the members of EAM agreed with the agreement between the
parties and the government in exile; and there was a clash between units
of ELAS on the one hand and on the other the military police supported
by the British troops located in Greece. This low act was the start
of England's involvement in the internal affairs of Greece.
The battles between units of ELAS and the reactionary forces led by
the British military forces lasted for 33 days.
In January 1945 the premier Georgios Papandreou resigned, and the new
government was put together by Plastiras. He immediately began to negotiate
with the leadership of EAM for the peaceful resolution of the crisis
in the country. EAM was represented in the negotiations by the general
secretary Partsalidis, KPG by Santos, ELD by Tsirimakos. On the other
side the Greek government was represented by: Joanis Figanopoulos, minister
for external affairs, Periklis Ralis - minister for internal affairs,
and Joanis Markopoulos - minister for agriculture.
On 12 February 1945 the Varkiza agreement was reached for an end to
the Greek Civil War which was still raging in Greece. It was named after
a place near Athens. The Agreement in Varkiza meant an end to the armed
struggle of the Greek people. With this agreement, KPG, EAM and ELD
bound themselves to disband all military units within ELAS. This shameful
agreement represented maximum capitulation and an act of betrayal by
the leadership of the named parties.
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