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Tying Greece to the West examines the reconstruction of Greece in the post-war era and how Greek foreign economic and political relations with the United States and West Germany developed, especially the Greek-West German trade and the American and West German financial and aid policy.
It posits that US-West German policy towards Greece took the shape of a ‘burden-sharing’ i.e. Bonn gradually took over certain policies vis-à-vis Greece which were originally formulated in Washington and that this took place with American connivance.
Furthermore, it investigates which impact Greek foreign relations had on the domestic development, particularly in relation to the establishment of the dictatorship in 1967, the so-called Colonels Regime.
It also analyzes the whole period of military regime and the relations between King Constantine II, the Colonels and the Americans.
The Second World War disrupted the Greek economy, polarized politics and left Greece in a state of severe economic and social disorder. The Axis occupation was followed by civil war with devastating consequences and the Greek Civil War was one immediate reason for the declaration of the Truman Doctrine in 1947.
The Truman Doctrine made Greece subject to the most costly overseas American aid program ever in peace time. However, gradually, West Germany became the backbone in Greece’s foreign economic relations. In this way West Germany also took over a number of the policy goals which Washington had formulated since the declaration of the Truman Doctrine.
The Marshall Plan years were formative in this process which culminated during almost three years of protracted negotiations when West Germany was the driving force in Greece becoming the first associate member of EEC in 1962.
Mogens Pelt, dr.phil, is associate Professor at the Department of History at the University of Copenhagen. He is the author of Tobacco, Arms and politics: Greece and Germany from World Crisis to World War, 1929-1941(Museum Tusculanum Press, 1998) and co-author with Morten Heiberg of Los Negocios de la Guerra: Armas Nazis para la Republica Española (Critica, Barcelona 2005).
"I assumed that seven years as a diplomat in Athens had taught me all anyone needed to know about the history of US-Greek relations since the World War II. Danish scholar Mogens Pelt has recently published a quietly excellent book to remind us why such confidence is misplaced. [...]
Anyone whose interest in Greek or Cold War history goes beyond sterile ideological point-scoring would profit from reading this clearly-written, modest, highly professional contribution to our understanding of the political and economic roots of international relations."
- John Brady Kiesling, Athens News
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