Treaty of Varkiza

The Treaty of Varkiza (also known as the Varkiza Pact or the Varkiza Peace Agreement) was signed in Varkiza (near Athens) on February 12, 1945 between the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) for EAM-ELAS. One of the aspects of the accord (Article IX) called for a plebiscite to be held within the year in order to resolve any problems with the Greek Constitution. This plebiscite would help establish elections and thus create a constituent assembly that would draft a new organic law. In another aspect of the treaty, both signatories agreed that the Allies send overseers in order to verify the validity of the elections.[1] The accord also promised that members of the EAM-ELAS would be permitted to participate in political activities if they surrendered their weapons. Moreover, all civil and political liberties would be guaranteed along with the undertaking by the Greek government towards establishing a nonpolitical national army.

The Treaty specified that the EAM-ELAS would disarm. According to records, it surrendered, within the next few days or weeks, 100 artillery of various types, 81 heavy mortars, 138 light mortars, 419 machine guns, 1412 submachine guns, 713 automatic rifles, 48,973 rifles and pistols, 57 antitank rifles and 17 radios.[2]

However, the real numbers are higher, as some refused to accept receipts for their weapons. Panagiotis Koumoukelis relates in 'All That Grief' that he refused a receipt for his gun and so he was subsequently tortured by members of the Security Battalions, as he could not produce his receipt.[3]

Ultimately, the promises enshrined in the Treaty of Varkiza were not upheld. The main problem was that the treaty gave amnesty only for political reasons, but many actions by communists during the Dekemvriana were viewed as nonpolitical. The events that followed entailed widespread anticommunist killings of communists.[4]

Even though the Treaty of Varkiza was not enforced, it was nevertheless a diplomatic attempt towards officially ending the civil war. The Communist Party of Greece remained legal during the Greek Civil War until 27 December 1947.

+ Richter, Heinz "British Intervention in Greece, From Varkiza to Civil War February 1945 to August 1946" (London 1986)

This page was last edited on 31 May 2018, at 23:50 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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