Athanasios Lykogiannis, Britain and the Greek economic crisis, 1944-1947: From liberation to the Truman Doctrine, PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom 1999
In 1944, the government of newly liberated Greece faced a crisis of staggering proportions, with a devastated economy and a currency undermined by rampant hyperinflation. Anxious to preserve Greece as a friendly 'outpost in South-Eastern Europe', the British provided advisors to help overcome the crisis. Whatever the political motives of the British, their economic advice was largely orthodox and sound, enshrining the only measures likely to provide a long-term solution to the problem of inflation. Nevertheless, successive governments in Athens managed to avoid acting on the advice in the hope that massive amounts of Allied aid would eliminate the need for painful policies, and preferring to adopt palliative measures which allowed wealthy Greeks to protect their assets while the underlying problems remained unaddressed. Exasperated by their lack of success, the British withdrew in early 1947, to be replaced by the Americans. The mixed success of the American advisors over the subsequent year merely confirmed the extensive problems which had earlier thwarted the British efforts. The thesis demonstrates how the inertia of successive Greek governments led to the prolongation of the economic crisis. It also shows how the attitudes of the Greek political establishment during 1944-47 - with endless squabbling, an obsessive anti-Communism, a relentlessly laissez faire approach to the economy, a cavalier lack of concern towards chronic balance of payments and budget deficits, a reliance on foreign capital coupled with a resentment of any conditions foreign aid might entail - were all firmly established within Greek political culture prior to World War II.
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