6 SEPTEMBER 1946, Page 1

Greece and King George

All things considered, the vote in the Greek plebiscite on Sunday must be regarded as satisfactory. The majority in favour of the return of King George—some 7 to 3—is decisive ; that is very much better than, say, a 55 per cent, vote, which would leave a large minority discontented and recalcitrant. And it is better, on the whole, than a vote against the King's return. What Greece needs above all things today is some approach to a stable government. One necessary condition to that end is the presence of a personality above party politics. Archbishop Damaskinos has for the last twenty months proved indispensable in that role. Whether King George is capable of rising to his responsibilities, and showing himself the leader not of a party but of a nation, has now to be croved. On his strength of character, which has not been con- spicuously demonstrated in the past, the future of more than his own country may depend—for Greek politics are patently affected by external influences, and unless the moderates in Greece can combine effectively against the Communist minority the danger of domination by doctrines emanating from elsewhere than Athens is grave. Left-wing extremists, of course, protest that the elections were unfairly conducted. That is part of the stock-in-trade of Balkan politics. But all British correspondents agree that in fact everything was done peacefully and in order except in one or two notoriously disturbed districts, and the fact that the verdict so largely confirms that given at the General Election of four months ago suggests that the population of Greece does for the moment know what it wants. British troops are still in Greece, and the sooner they can be with- drawn the better. That is one of many reasons for hoping that, with King George's return, Greece will achieve effective unity in the face of external dangers. And it should not be too much to ask that Left-wing politicians in this country should do their part by suspending the diversion of sniping at the existing regime.