30 OCTOBER 1976, Page 18

Another view of Greece

Sir: The article you printed by Mr Theodoracopulos about Greece is much more revealing of the author's irrational phobias than it is of anything remotely like Greece . today. Mr Theodoracopulos would have us think that Greece under Mr Karamanlis is tottering on the brink of an imminent takeover by the political forces roused by Mr Papandreou and the communists, or by Army officers whose views on Western 'decadence' Mr Papandreou is encouraging.

Mr Karamanlis, whom Mr Theodoracopulos has previously accused of being `soft on communism', will not thank him for his absurd concern. The Greek government, with its widespread grassroot popularity and healthy parliamentary majority, has no difficulty in exercising power with steady moderation, without denying to Mr Papandreou and the communists the right to propagate their own very different (and often immoderate) views. Mr Theodoracopulos may hate nationalisation. That is his right. But it is simply not true to say that Karamanlis has introduced such measures 'in order to appease the left.' Anybody who has followed Greek affairs since Mr Karamanlis first became Prime Minister in 1955 knows that he has always favoured a mixed economy and has absolutely no ideological prejudgments on 'socialist' as against 'free enterprise' solutions to the problems of the Greek economy.

Mr Theodoracopulos is particularly bitter against the 'yellow' left-wing press of Greece. Perhaps that bitterness will be soothed should he succeed, on appeal, in having set aside the fifteen-month jail sentence imposed for his own lack of moderation in attacking a Greek newspaper and its proprietor. The truth is that many Greeks (including the Minister of Information, Mr Lambrias, whom Mr Theodoracopulos quotes) are aware of the excesses and lack of balance in many of their daily newspapers--both of the right and of the left. They would like to see those excesses curbed—not by compulsion but by a growing sense of journalistic responsibility. But that is the last quality that Mr Theodoracopulos can claim to be encouraging.

Leslie Finer Washington DC, USA