31 JANUARY 1941, Page 1


pROM the military point of view the death of General Metaxas, the Greek Prime Minister, is an unqualified mis- fortune, for though Greek resistance rests on unbroken national unity, not on the leadership of any single man, there can be no question that the inspiring call of the Prime Minister to his countrymen to defend their frontiers to the death was the prime cause of the early Greek successes out of which all the later successes have flowed. There can be no question either of General Metaxas' ability as a soldier. He showed it in the last war, and it is on his strategy that the victories of the last two months have been based. But as a politician he was much more sympathetic with the ideas of Berlin than of London, and his pre-war regime was oppressive in the extreme. That might have made his position difficult during the period of reconstruc- tion that will follow the victory of democracy over totali- tarianism. But victory has not come yet, and in the mean time a leader like Metaxas can ill be sPared. The military side of the war is safe in the hands of the Commander-in-Chief, General Papagos. Politically many changes will be .necessary, for General Metaxas had assumed hardly fewer portfolios than Mussolini. As one consequence the King, hitherto over- shadowed by his powerful Minister, may be expected to take a more prominent part in national life. Of . the new Prime Minister, M. Korizis, Governor of the National Bank of Greece, httle is known, but that little is uniformly good.