The beginning of the crisis

Marked differences in ideas and concepts characterized the people who one way or another were committed to the national struggle. With the passage of time, the different political aims that they envisaged for post-war Greece, the degree of identification with or dissension from the exiled royalist government and mainly the British policy concerning Greek issues, gradually led them to an unbridgable gulf. The co-operation between resistance groups in sabotage operations against the conquerors - one major incident being the destruction of the Gorgopotamos bridge - was not sustained after 1942. The failure of the mission of the delegation of EAM guerillas to Cairo in August 1943 (claiming their participation in the exiled government and the non-restoration of the King to the throne of Greece unless a plebiscite was conducted that ruled in his favour) eliminated any prospect of co-operation and from October 1943 a disastrous conflict began between ┼LAS and EDES (who finally aligned themselves with the royalist governmenet against ┼LAS), which comprised armed engagements and ended in an uneasy truce in February 1944. The foundation in March 1944 by ┼AM of the Political Committee of National Liberation (PEEA), that would carry out government functions in Free Greece, with its headquarters at the village of Koryshcades, Evritania, greatly alarmed the exiled government in Cairo.
Within the Greek forces abroad the contrasts that had characterized the Greek resistance bodies and the royalist government were reproduced. At the same time, groups of officers and soldiers were vociferous in their demands for the creation of a government of national unity. This movement, which was considered a mutiny by the British, was suppressed by joint Greek and British forces and ended in the incarceration of 10,000 Greek soldiers in camps in Africa.
The crisis resulted in the appointment of Georgios Papandreou as prime minister of the exiled government, a fact that marked the beginning of the process of creating a government of national unity. In May a conference was convened in Lebanon for this purpose, attended by representatives from all the resistance and political forces. The initial refusal of EAM supporters, despite the acceptance of their delegation on the spot, to agree to the propositions of the government was tempered in August, in tandem with the conclusion of the British-Soviet understanding over zones of influence in the Balkans. They accepted a secondary place in the government of Papandreou while, in September of that same year, with the agreement of Caserta, they agreed to place their military forces at the disposal of the British. Finally, the government of Papandreou that entered Athens with the Liberation, included six ministers of ┼AM.
In this climate, new developments following the departure of the Germans, in combination with the approaches of the British after the celebrations and the feeling of euphoria following Liberation, led very quickly to a tough civil war that shook Greece until 1949 and disfigured the political and social life of the country for several decades.