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From Dictatorship to Democracy:


US- Greek Relations at a Critical Turning Point
(19741975)
Antonis Klapsis
On 15 July 1974 the Greek military junta instigated a coup in Cyprus in order
to overthrow the president of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios
III, and unite the island with Greece. The coup gave Turkey the pretext to
invade Cyprus ve days later and eventually to occupy almost 40 percent of
the islands territory, thus forcing thousands of Greek Cypriots to abandon
their domiciles in the north and become refugees in their own country. As a
result of this ethnic disaster, the military dictatorship that had ruled Greece
since 21 April 1967 collapsed, opening the way for the restoration of democ-
racy in Greece.
In the early hours of 24 July 1974, Konstantinos Karamanlis returned to
Athens after more than ten years of self- exile in Paris. Almost immediately
he was sworn in as prime minister and formed a national unity government
composed of prominent politicians of diverse political backgrounds. From the
very rst moments of its existence, the national unity government had to deal
with enormous problems, such as confrontation with Turkey both in Cyprus
and in the Aegean Sea, as well as reestablishing democratic normality in
Greece. Given the fact that many of the supporters of the military regime,
especially within the Greek armed forces, were not willing to accept the new
political situation voluntarily, Karamanlis and his collaborators found them-
selves in a very difcult position. Greece was on the edge of war with Turkey,
Mediterranean Quarterly 22:1 DOI 10.1215/10474552- 1189656
Copyright 2011 by Mediterranean Affairs, Inc.
Antonis Klapsis is an adjunct lecturer of modern and contemporary history in the Department of
Political Science and International Relations, University of Peloponnese.
62 Mediterranean Quarterly: Winter 2011 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 63
and at the same time the government in Athens had to look over its shoulder
in order not to be overthrown by a group of unrepentant conspirators.
In this context, the way relations between Greece and the United States
were to evolve was of critical importance. Ever since 1947, Washington
had played a decisive role in Greek political and economic affairs. Greece
and the United States were allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organiza-
tion, and Greece had been for almost three decades heavily dependent on
the United States for securing its military capability in order to defend its
national integrity. However, this special relationship had received a heavy
blow because many Greeks believed that Washington was largely respon-
sible for the establishment and the long tenure of the dictatorship from 1967
to 1974. Moreover, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus had created sentiments of
great bitterness in Greek public opinion toward the US government, which
was blamed by the Greeks for not doing anything to deter the invasion or
even favoring a solution of Cypruss partition.
From the US point of view, the priority was to avoid the possibility of a
Greek- Turkish war. An armed conict between two neighbors threatened to
create serious problems for NATOs cohesion, thus damaging Washingtons
interests in the region. Open hostilities between Greece and Turkey were
predicted to have a serious adverse effect on intra- NATO relationships and
on the military balance between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, which would
weaken NATOs posture against Soviet political and military pressures in
the area and possibly cause a serious breakdown of defenses on the south-
eastern ank [of NATO].
1
The US obsession with the cohesion of NATO was
reected in a message addressed by President Richard Nixon to Karaman-
lis almost immediately after the latter became prime minister.
2
Washington
asked Athens not to push things to the limit as far as Greek- Turkish relations
were concerned. The US attitude of keeping equal distance between Ath-
ens and Ankara caused great disappointment in Greece, where Washingtons
stance was thought favorable to the Turkish side.
3

1. The Likelihood of Conict between Greece and Turkey, memorandum, Washington, DC, 21
June 1974, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969 1976, vol. 30 [hereafter, FRUS] (Wash-
ington, DC: United States Government Printing Ofce, 2007), doc. 15, 70 6.
2. Konstantinos Karamanlis: Archive, Events, and Texts, vol. 8 (Athens: Konstantinos G. Karaman-
lis Foundation Ekdotiki Athinon, 1996), 17.
3. Ibid., 80.
Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 63
Indeed, Turkeys intransigence led, on 13 August 1974, to the collapse of
the Geneva conference concerning a solution of the Cyprus problem. The fol-
lowing day Turkish troops launched a second offensive operation, which led
to the occupation of approximately 38 percent of the territory of the Repub-
lic of Cyprus. As a result, the Greek government immediately announced
that Greece was withdrawing from the military structure of NATO, although
it continued its participation in the political activities of the alliance.
4
This
decision reected Athenss disappointment concerning the US position toward
the Cyprus crisis. On the day of the second Turkish military operation, the
ambassador of the United States to Athens, Henry Tasca, visited Karamanlis
to transmit a message from Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The Greek
prime minister replied that US interest had come too late and that the Greek
people felt betrayed by the United States.
5
This was an uncomfortable situation for the United States, which wished
Greece to remain a full member of NATO. Tasca underlined that the Greeks
had felt let down by their allies, who had done almost nothing to deter Tur-
key from occupying a large part of Cyprus; the United States and NATO had
become the scapegoats for Greek frustration over the Cyprus problem.
Tasca believed that when the dust settled, the Greek government would even-
tually realize that US assistance was strategically essential for Greece, as
the latter was a small country surrounded by hostile and potentially hostile
forces and its geographical position meant that it needed powerful friends
and allies in order to survive.
6
As a result, he also believed that the decision
of withdrawal from the military wing of NATO had been taken by the Greek
government without adequate thought to ramications for Greeces future
security needs.
7

In this context, Tosca was convinced that Athenss decision to remain in
the political branch of the alliance underlined the importance of the secu-
rity protection that NATO provided Greece against dangers from the War-
saw Pact.
8
Tasca also added that there was considerable reason to think that
4. Ibid., 88.
5. Ibid., 90.
6. Tasca to the Department of State, Athens, 15 August 1974 [hereafter, Tasca], FRUS, doc. 20,
80 2.
7. Tasca, FRUS, doc. 21, 83 6.
8. Tasca, FRUS, doc. 20, 80 2.
64 Mediterranean Quarterly: Winter 2011
Greece intended by its withdrawal action to put pressure on [the] alliance
but not to give up the central relationship with the United States.
9
As a
result, Tasca suggested that the US government should act decisively in order
to maintain its dominant position in Greece:
In the short term we must act promptly along the following lines: A) Dem-
onstrate that we are mindful of Greeces importance to the US and the
Western alliance and that we have not chosen Turkey over Greece, [and]
B) Demonstrate also that we understand Karamanlis domestic and per-
sonal problems; that we regard him as a friend and want him to succeed in
restoring strong and effective parliamentary government.
10
Tascas analysis was based primarily on an evaluation of Greeces long-
term strategic needs. From that point of view, he was right about Greeces
need of international backing in order to strengthen the security of its north-
ern borders. Greece was a neighbor of three potentially hostile communist
countries to its north (Albania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia), despite the fact
that only one (Bulgaria) was currently a member of the Warsaw Pact.
11
The
vulnerability of Greeces northern border created a permanent fear in Ath-
ens and had greatly contributed to Greeces decision to become a member of
NATO in 1952. Nevertheless, Tasca appeared to underestimate the impor-
tance and above all the depth of anti- American sentiment of a large
part of Greek public opinion. These sentiments, which had grown during the
years of the dictatorship, had become even stronger after the Turkish invasion
of Cyprus. In this context, Tascas prediction that in a short while the Greek
government would seek restoration of cordial relations with the United States
was extremely optimistic.
The United States feared that Greeces withdrawal from the NATO military
structure might threaten US strategic interests. These implications included,
for example, possible obstacles to the use by United States Sixth Fleet vessels
of Greek ports, uncertainty about the future of multilateral NATO installa-
tions in Greece, and the nonparticipation of Greek armed forces in NATO
9. Tasca, FRUS, doc. 21, 83 6.
10. Tasca, FRUS, doc. 20, 80.
11. Albania had been a founding member of the Warsaw Pact but formally withdrew in 1968.
Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 65
12. Tasca, FRUS, doc. 21, 83 6. For the implications created by Greeces withdrawal from NATO,
see also Implications of the Greek Withdrawal from Military Participation in NATO, intelligence
memorandum, Washington, DC, October 1974, FRUS, doc. 26, 97 103.
13. Implications of the Greek Withdrawal, 97 103.
14. Tasca, FRUS, doc. 20, 80 2.
15. Central Intelligence Agency, Athens Frustrations with the US and the Prospects for the Greek
Left, Washington, DC, 29 August 1974, FRUS, doc. 22, 86 90.
16. Ingersoll to the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Washington, DC, 30
August 1974, FRUS, doc. 23, 90 3.
military exercises.
12
There was also the possibility that Greek behavior might
encourage other NATO members to follow a similar policy, thus creating a
centrifugal tendency that could damage the alliances cohesion.
13
For this
reason, the US was deeply concerned about future political conditions in
Greece, as these would denitely affect the countrys attitude toward Wash-
ington. Thus, it is not surprising that the United States seemed to prefer the
domination of Karamanlis and other Western- oriented political leaders (such
as Georgios Mavros, for example) and was suspicious toward left- wing politi-
cians, including Andreas Papandreou, since they were thought to be capable
of doing everything possible to exacerbate Greeces relations with the United
States and the West.
14

The US believed that Karamanlis did not share the average Greek citi-
zens views about the extent of US responsibility for the Turkish invasion of
Cyprus one of the key elements underlying widespread anti- Americanism
in Greece. Washington recognized that he had decided to withdraw Greece
from NATOs military side in order to placate public opinion and relieve frus-
tration, as well as to further increase his own domestic popularity. It was also
convinced that if Karamanlis adopted an anti- US attitude and made threats,
the situation could get worse. Athens hoped to persuade Washington to inu-
ence Ankara to moderate its position over the Cyprus question, and Washing-
ton estimated that the Greek government wanted to avoid making irreparable
damage to Greeces relations with the United States and NATO.
15
US deputy
secretary of state Robert Ingersoll noted, It will be in our interest to extend
as long as possible discussions with Greece on its future NATO role in order to
give time for tempers to cool and to avoid prematurely closing doors to Greek
participation.
16

Despite the tensions, the United States seemed to believe that if a Cyprus
Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 65
66 Mediterranean Quarterly: Winter 2011 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 67 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 67
settlement that would preserve Greek dignity could be negotiated, and if fur-
ther troubles in the Aegean could be avoided, then there was a possibility
for improvement in US- Greek relations. On the other hand, if Greece were
forced to accept a humiliating settlement over Cyprus or if it did not receive
some US backing in the Aegean controversy, the future of US- Greek relations
would be jeopardized. Karamanlis would either have to take severe actions
toward Washington or he would lose power; in either case, the US presence in
Greece would be affected and bilateral relations would certainly worsen.
17

At the same time, the United States was aware that Karamanlis was look-
ing forward to a closer relationship with Western European countries, as he
was motivated by the political and economic benets of integration into the
European Economic Community (EEC). Indeed, as early as 19 August 1974,
president of the European Parliament Cornelis Berkouwer visited Athens in
order to examine the prospect for reviving Greek relations with the EEC.
18

Three days later the Greek government submitted a formal request to the
EEC to ask for the immediate reactivation of the 1963 association agreement,
which had been frozen during the Greek dictatorship.
19
The Greek request

was accepted on 17 September 1974 by the EEC Council of Ministers.
20

Moreover, in early September 1974 Georgios Mavros, who was both the vice
president and foreign minister of the Greek government, visited France and
West Germany, where he had long talks with leaders of the two countries.
21

All these initiatives were tangible proof of the intention of Karamanlis to
minimize Greeces dependence on Washington, and Washington seemed to
so understand:
Whether or not relations improve with the US, Athens will continue to
strengthen its ties with France, Germany and the European Community.
Relations with Europe had been frozen in the seven years of military rule,
and with the return of a civilian government, a thaw was to be expected.
The bad turn in relations with the US made the European option even
17. Central Intelligence Agency, 86 90. See also Implications of the Greek Withdrawal,
97 103.
18. Karamanlis, 112. See also the daily Greek newspaper Ta Nea, 19 August 1974, 10.
19. Karamanlis, 115 6.
20. Ibid., 158.
21. Ibid., 149 51.
Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 67 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 67
more important to Athens as insurance in case relations with the US do not
improve signicantly. For their part, France, West Germany, and the other
EC members hope to reciprocate Greek interest in a closer relationship,
both through bilateral and EC channels. The development of the Euro-
pean option is limited, of course, by the requirement for the EC members
to maintain some balance between Greece and Turkey (both EC associate
members) and by the level of Greeces economic development, which pre-
cludes immediate full membership in the EC. The extent to which Greece
receives support from the European countries, however, will inuence,
though it would not guarantee, the longer- term survivability of moderate
policies in Greece.
22
The United States did not oppose the prospect of a closer association
between Greece and the EEC. Tasca suggested that Washington should
encourage the Greek movement for association and favor anything that would
strengthen Athenss pro- West orientation and exclude the possibility of
Greece slipping to the neutral or, even worse, communist camp.
23
The pros-
pect that openly anti- American, anti- NATO, and neutralist political leaders,
mainly Andreas Papandreou, who was described as more radical than the
Communists, might secure a large number of votes in the elections of 17
November 1974 haunted the Americans. Consequently, they seemed in favor
of a clear victory for Karamanliss newly founded conservative New Democ-
racy party in the election, as they believed that the chances of Greece re-
entering the military side of NATO would be best under a strong Karamanlis
government.
24

The main priority for Washington concerning Greece was obviously to
keep Athens, if not within the immediate sphere of US inuence, at least
within the Western world. Thus, the preference toward Karamanlis was dic-
tated mainly by strategic reasons. From his perspective, Karamanlis, who
was an experienced and above all a pragmatic statesman with excel-
lent knowledge of the international balance of power, was certainly aware
22. Principal Conclusions, intelligence memorandum, Washington, DC, 5 November 1974,
FRUS, doc. 28, 105 13.
23. Tasca, FRUS, doc. 20, 81.
24. Principal Conclusions, 105 13.
68 Mediterranean Quarterly: Winter 2011 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 69 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 69
25. Ibid.
26. Karamanliss New Democracy secured 54.37 percent of the vote and elected 220 (out of 300)
members of parliament.
27. Karamanlis, 269 70.
28. Ibid., 275.
29. Ibid., 279 80.
that in the long term Greece would have to improve its relations with the
United States and return to the military structure of NATO. At the peak of
anti- American feelings in Greece, caused by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus,
Karamanlis was said to have remarked to a US ofcial that he was the last
pro- American in Greece.
25
It was expected that the United States could play
a decisive role in the solution of the Cyprus question by exercising pressure
on the Turkish side.
After his impressive victory in the November 1974 elections, Karamanlis
and other members of his government had contacts with US ofcials concern-
ing the situation in Cyprus.
26
On 11 December 1974, for example, during
NATOs ministerial session in Brussels, Greek foreign minister Dimitrios Bit-
sios discussed the Cyprus question with Kissinger.
27
Six days later, Karaman-
lis received a visit from the new ambassador to Greece, Jack Kubisch, during
which they had an extensive discussion on the subject.
28
Moreover, Athenss
intention to improve Greek- US relations was reected in a memo delivered to
Kubisch on 4 January 1975 in which the Greek government asked for Ameri-
can military and economic assistance.
29
Karamanlis, however, was at the same time determined to hold rm con-
cerning the issue of US military facilities on Greek soil. After Greeces with-
drawal from the military structure of NATO, this issue was of critical impor-
tance for both sides. Athens wanted to limit American privileges, whereas
Washington sought to safeguard them in order to preserve their strategic ben-
ets. Kubisch accurately put it as follows:
[I]t is our tentative conclusion that the Greeks will seek changes in our
operating relationship which are more than cosmetic but less than vital. It
is encouraging that the Greek side does not challenge the basic assump-
tion that bilateral military cooperation with the US is important for Greece
and that, in the wider context of our regional responsibilities, an effec-
tive US military role is positive and stabilizing. We believe that assump-
Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 69 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 69
tion underlies the thinking not only of the Greek negotiating team but of
the Greek Govt itself. Without it a true meshing of our interests would be
impossible. With it there may still be difcult problems of detail but the
eventual conclusion of our negotiations with the Greeks would be satisfac-
tory both for us and for them.
30
Greek- US talks about the revision of the existing agreements concerning
these facilities began in February 1975. From the very early stages, the Greek
side dened three broad objectives: (1) to reduce but not eliminate the
US military prole in Greece; (2) to update, consolidate, and tighten existing
bilateral defense arrangements; and (3) to monitor and control more directly
US military activities in Greece.
31
Given the determination of the Greek side,
Washington was prepared to accept some changes on condition that these
would not undermine basic US interests. Thus, by the end of April 1975 the
two sides had already agreed on the following: (1) home porting of US war-
ships in Elefsis would stop; (2) the US military base at Hellenikon would
eventually be closed down; (3) an agreement concerning the suppression,
limitation, and consolidation of other US facilities in Greece would follow;
(4) privileges, immunities, and tax exemption for US personnel in Greece
would be revised; and (5) all remaining US facilities in Greece would be
placed under the command of Greek ofcers.
32

In early February 1975, Congress imposed an arms embargo on Turkey
on the grounds that US- supplied military equipment had been used illegally
during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. That development, despite the fact
that it did not derive from an initiative of the executive branch, increased
hopes in Greece that US pressure on Turkey concerning Cyprus might lead to
some progress on that issue. Things, however, did not go that way as Ankara
was not willing to make any concessions and insisted on legalizing the solu-
tion that had been imposed by the Turkish invasion.
On 29 May 1975, during a NATO summit in Brussels, Karamanlis and US
president Gerald Ford had an opportunity to discuss the two most important
30. Ingersoll to Kissinger, Washington, DC, 13 February 1975, FRUS, doc. 35, 131.
31. Memorandum from the Presidents Assistant for National Security Affairs [Kissinger] to Presi-
dent Ford, Washington, DC, 27 February 1975, FRUS, doc. 35, 133 4.
32. Karamanlis, 307.
70 Mediterranean Quarterly: Winter 2011 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 71 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 71
33. At the time of the invasion, the Turkish portion of the population of Cyprus was estimated at
about 18 percent.
34. Memorandum of Conversation, Brussels, 29 May 1975, FRUS, doc. 50, 161 9; Karamanlis,
413 8.
35. Memorandum of Conversation, Brussels.
issues that affected Greek- US relations: the Cyprus question and the Greek-
Turkish dispute in the Aegean Sea. Karamanlis reafrmed that he was will-
ing to agree to a solution of the Cyprus problem on two conditions: (1) that the
territory to be controlled by Turkish Cypriots would be proportional to their
share of the total population,
33
and (2) that a Cyprus solution would allow for
the return of the approximately two hundred thousand Greek- Cypriot refu-
gees to their homes. Regarding the Aegean dispute, Karamanlis reminded
the United States that Turkey was continually creating problems about the
continental shelf and Greek airspace and was questioning fundamental
Greek sovereign rights in the region.
34

Ford stated that the United States was willing to contribute to a solution
for both problems but did not make any concrete proposals that could help
in that direction; he seemed interested only in the restoration of US military
aid to Turkey. Kissinger, who was present, said that Karamanliss request for
an analogy between the size of Turkish- Cypriot population and the territory
controlled by them was just not realistic. Washington was obviously not will-
ing to press Turkey, and Karamanlis was bitterly disappointed. Instead of
asking concessions from the Turks, he exclaimed, you seem to be asking
why the Greeks wont pay. . . . This is a case of the two sides having difculty
and the third party giving suggestions to the wrong one.
35
The discussion was obviously at a dead end. Karamanlis underlined that
Greece was ready to defend its interests and ght if it had to do so. As for
Turkey, in case of a war with Greece the Turks would be the rst victims
because they would have opened the way to the Soviets. I may be forced to
reconsider the policies of my country, Karamanlis added, but again the only
tangible promise made by Ford and Kissinger was that they would do any-
thing to avert war in Cyprus and in the Aegean. In this context, Karamanlis
was not willing, as Ford wished, to discuss the possibility of Greeces imme-
diate return to NATOs military structure, despite the fact that he described
himself as the most pro- Western Greek politician.
Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 71 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 71
We were forced to withdraw from the military part of the Alliance. It gave
us no pleasure to do so. There was no other way. We can only change this
when the reasons for this action have been removed. The causes must be
lifted. If I return to the military part of the Alliance before the problem
is solved and we later get into a conict, what will happen to the Alliance
then? First we must restore normality. I have explained the problems. I
have not told you how they can be settled, but we hope that you will do
your best to help.
36
The meeting did not break any new ground. Athens and Washington could
not agree, since their views on every issue (Cyprus, Greek- Turkish relations,
and Greeces return to NATO) did not seem compatible. The Greek feeling
that the United States followed a pro- Turkish line was quite evident and was
only further reinforced by Fords unwillingness to press Turkey. This was
conrmed during another meeting between Karamanlis and Ford, held on
30 July 1975 in Helsinki. Once again, the US presidents main concern was
to nd ways to lift the embargo imposed on Turkey by Congress, and, along
with Kissinger, he avoided making any specic suggestions about possible
solutions to the problems.
37

The second meeting between Karamanlis and Ford took place almost
exactly one year after restoration of democracy in Greece and provided an
opportunity for a full evaluation of US- Greek relations. The fall of the dicta-
torship in Greece was accompanied by aggravation of anti- American senti-
ments within Greek public opinion. Greeks believed, on the one hand, that
the United States was largely responsible for the survival of the dictatorship
and, on the other hand, that Washington had done nothing to prevent Tur-
key from invading Cyprus. Under this public pressure, Karamanlis had no
choice other than to order Greeces withdrawal from the military structure
of NATO, thus causing great apprehension to the United States. The latter
wished to safeguard its position in Greece and, most important, its military
bases on Greek soil, which were thought of as important for Washingtons
strategic needs in the wider region. This aim could best be achieved through
36. Ibid.
37. Memorandum of Conversation, Helsinki, 30 July 1975, FRUS, doc. 51, 169 78; Karamanlis,
489 90.
72 Mediterranean Quarterly: Winter 2011 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 73 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 73
an improvement of US- Greek relations. Nevertheless, the US unwillingness
to help in solving problems concerning Greek- Turkish relations (mainly the
Cyprus question and the dispute over the Aegean Sea) made this rapproche-
ment rather difcult, despite the fact that Karamanlis was probably by far the
most pro- Western Greek political leader.
Karamanlis wished to secure US assistance, but he was not willing to do
so at the expense of Greek national interests. He wished to promote coopera-
tion between Athens and Washington, but on the condition that cooperation
would be as benecial for Greece as for the United States. Of course, he
realized the disequilibrium of power between Greece and the United States,
but he was determined not to become a pawn in US strategy. Karamanlis
chose to strengthen ties between Greece and France, West Germany, and
the EEC and thus proved his intention to minimize Athenss dependence on
Washington. Greece was in search of alternative ways of solving its security
problems, and the prospect of Greece becoming a member of the EEC would
help in that regard as well as generating great economic benets. Neverthe-
less, Washington did not oppose the prospect of Greece becoming a member
of the EEC, since this development would further secure the commitment of
Athens to the Western world, a fact of critical importance for US interests.
Immediately after the collapse of the dictatorship in Greece, both Athens
and Washington sought a new balance in their relations. However, this bal-
ance was not easy to nd, since some of the priorities of the two sides did
not match. The United States was, above all else, interested in serving its
own geopolitical priorities, and Greek public opinion was still embittered by
the US position toward the Greek junta and during the Turkish invasion of
Cyprus. The fact that Washington did not seem prepared to undertake any
serious initiative in order to promote a solution of the Cyprus question or to
relieve Ankaras pressures on Athens in the Aegean Sea made things even
more complicated.
In the long term, however, US ofcials proved to be right about at least one
thing: Greece was in any case too weak and too exposed from a geopolitical
point of view to attempt to break relations fully with the United States. It is
evident that Karamanlis was aware of this reality, and as a result he was
extremely cautious when dealing with US- Greek relations. In 1974 Greece
chose not to withdraw from the political branch of NATO, and in October
Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 73 Klapsis: From Dictatorship to Democracy: US-Greek Relations 73
1980 (under the premiership of Georgios Rallis) it rejoined the alliances
military structure. US- Greek relations never again took the form they had
between the end of World War II and the imposition of the dictatorship in
Greece. But no matter the political background of the various Greek gov-
ernments after 1974 (even when Andreas Papandreou, much feared by the
United States, rose to power in October 1981), these relations continued to be
extremely important both to Athens and Washington.