More on Greece

JayHecht at JayHecht at
Sun Apr 4 09:36:00 PDT 1999

In a message dated 4/2/99 8:37:10 AM Central Daylight Time, delong at econ.Berkeley.EDU writes:

<< a Greek communist government taking over the country in

1944 or 1948 would have done anything other than repeat one of the sad

stories of Hoxha--Tito--Zhivkov--Ceausescu?

>> Brad,

I think you have to check out some histories about the Greek civil war. From my reading (and talks with my relatives) the country was deeply divided - would a leftist gov't in 1950 been as ruthless as the military dictators of 73-74? Maybe, but unlike Roumania and Albania, Greece had a lot more cultural, social, political, economic ties to the West. Maybe it wasn't "exceptionalism," but I really don't think Greece had the temperment/social structure for a Hoxha or Ceaucescu-type regime For example, the Greek shipping industry played a big part in both WW II transport and post-war oil development. Capitalists had a lot more power than in these other economies.

Though I don't have the exact stats, I'd say that Greece had a lot more potential (agriculture, shipping, refinery, etc.) in 1950 than either Roumania or Albania. Also, it was possible to get a decent education, and I suspect that the ratio of [engineers+ other technocrats]/population by 1960 also affected future development. Finally, there was a lot of finanical support going back to relatives in Greece. All of my mom's family in NYC regularly sent money back to uncles and cousins - this was especially true during the 1950s when times were pretty tough for rural folks.


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