Greek United Democratic Left, 145
Eniaia Demokratiki Aristera, EDA
Information base and researchers
The information base for party politics in Greece consists of
509 pages from 45 documents, with 98 pages or 19 percent
pertaining to the EDA. George Antunes indexed the literature. Alan
Kaplan coded the variables.
1.01 year of origin and 1.02 name changes
In 1946, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) was outlawed by the
government. The party's politburo and many members left or were
exiled from Greece during and after the civil war. The civil war
was fought by the EAM, the military-political front of the KKE.
After the civil war, in 1951, a group of leftist political parties
merged to form the EDA. The largest of these parties was one which
had direct linear ties to the KKE and EAM. Therefore, the EDA was
regarded by the authors as the legal arm of the KKE. Many of the
members of the EAM were members of the EDA, and the EDA followed
the directives and policy statements of the exiled KKE politburo.
The EDA remained an active force in Greek politics from its
founding in 1951 until it was outlawed in 1967. Although it
competed in several elections under different names as part of
electoral coalitions (for example, Democratic Union, pame) the EDA
did not experience any name changes.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
no discontinuity was apparent in the EDA. The party was considered
a well-disciplined solid block of sympathizers and activists.
1.04 leadership competition
For the EDA, the leadership did not change between 1950 and 1962.
Passalides remained its leader. However, the KKE, the exiled
Communist Party of Greece in control of the EDA, experienced a
leadership change twice during the period. The first came in 1956
when grozos pushed zachariades out. The second occurred just at
the end of the period when koliyiannis took over for grozos. The
leadership changes for the KKE are important for they influenced
the history of the EDA.
1.05 / 2.05 legislative instability and strength instability
is .96, ac6
Strength is .01 for 1st half, ac6 and .17 for 2nd half,
Some sources credit the EDA with 7 percent of the seats in the
1950 legislature, but these deputies are regarded instead as a
forerunning group which later was aligned with the EDA. According
to our interpretation, the party won its first seats in 1951, when
it took 4 percent. But then it failed to win any seats in 1952. It
took 6 percent in 1956, as part of a coalition, climbed to 26
percent in 1958, and dropped to 8 percent in 1961. The fluctuation
in legislative seats won was due largely to changes in the
electoral laws, which were revised to hamper the EDA.
1.06 / 2.06 electoral instability and strength instability is
Strength is .10 for 1st half, ac5 and .19 for 2nd half,
The EDA did not contest the 1950 election, which was held before
it was formed. It received about 10 percent of the vote in both
the 1951 and 1952 elections, which it contested on its own. But in
1956 its identity was submerged in the Democratic Union, which
involved at least five parties. In 1958, it again contested the
election under its own banner, taking 24 percent of the vote.
Although it ran in coalition with the national agrarian party in
1961, it is judged to have retained its identity better than in
1956 and is credited with winning 15 percent of the vote.
Governmental Status Variables,
2.01 government discrimination
The governments of Greece discriminated against the EDA by
manipulating the electoral systems, altering the procedures for
determining election outcomes, and by harassing the meeting,
business activities, and members of the EDA. The most notable
examples occurred during 1958 when premier Karamanlis of the ERE
began to suppress the EDA's propaganda mechanisms and in the 1952,
1956, 1958, and 1961 election laws.
2.02 governmental leadership
0 out of 7 for 1st half, ac9
0 out of 6 for 2nd half, ac9
The EDA did not participate in the governmental leadership of
2.03 cabinet participation
0 out of 7 for 1st half, ac9
0 out of 6 for 2nd half, ac9
The EDA did not participate in any cabinets during the
2.04 national participation
The EDA was a national party competing in all parties of Greece.
Its success was highly variable over time and across regions.
2.07 outside origin
Since the EDA was formed in 1951, it was influenced by the
outlawed KKE (Communist Party of Greece) and its exiled leaders.
EDA was formed by a coalition of leftist political groupings under
the leadership of the KKE and the EAM.
Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 ownership of means of production
The EDA advocated the nationalization of some economic sectors of
Greek society, especially the banking interests.
5.02 government role in economic planning
Although EDA's goals were not socialistic, the party favored an
active governmental role in the economy. Its leaders advocated
direct taxes, easier credit, joint state-private economic
ventures, the development of agricultural cooperatives, and a
revision of the economic priorities.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
5.04 social welfare
The EDA favored social insurance programs to cover workers,
craftsmen, and small businessmen. In 1958, they advocated a 30
percent increase in wages and a 50 percent increase in pensions
for all employees.
5.05 secularization of society
The EDA advocated monetary benefits for the clergy in Greece.
5.06 support of the military
The EDA supported reductions in the military budget for the
purpose of raising the standard of living by reallocating budget
expenditures to other programs.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
The EDA expressed favoritism toward the Soviet union and
opposition toward the u.s. And the west. It wanted closer economic
and trade relations with the eastern bloc and a total
re-examination of the so-called "protectorate " policy of the u.s.
In regard to Greece. After the KKE leadership change in 1956, the
opposition toward the u.s. Lessened in response to the end of
Stalinism and the beginnings of Khrushchevism.
Although Greece was not involved in a colonial experience, the EDA
charged that it was virtually an american protectorate. They
therefore advocated complete independence and the complete
withdrawal of U.S. and british military advisors.
5.09 supranational integration
During the entire period, the EDA was against Greek membership in
NATO and the EEC. However, after 1956, their attitude changed from
favoring an immediate pullout from NATO to a more neutral stance
favoring friendly relations with both the east and west
5.10 national integration
The EDA advocated the assimilation of all sub-areas into the
national political culture. This policy was illustrated during the
debates on unity of Greece and Cyprus. As to Cyprus, the EDA
advocated "a free Greece united with a free Cyprus." after 1956,
the support grew stronger. The leaders pledged their party to
"unrelenting support of self-determination for Cyprus."
5.11 electoral participation
5.12 protection of civil rights
5.13 interference with civil liberties
5.14 / 5.15 US--Soviet experts left-right ratings
US says 4, communist
Soviets say 3, the EDA was a coalition of socialist and
left-democratic forces, containing varying ideological
viewpoints--socialists, left-democrats, and communists.
Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 open competition in the electoral process
The EDA was oriented to open competition. It had a genuine concern
for seeking popular support and employed the strategies of
nominating candidates, campaigning actively, and joining electoral
coalitions to help defeat the party in power. However, there is
some indication and evidence, discussed under variable 6.20, of
6.10 restricting party competition
The EDA did not restrict party competition during this
6.20 subverting the political system
Although the EDA was oriented to open competition and was not
oriented to subverting the political process, party members did
engage in some subversive activities. These activities included
strikes and riots. There is also some evidence of EDA support for
these extra-parliamentary activities and disturbances.
6.30 propagandizing ideas and program
6.31--2, ac9. The EDA frequently and constantly engaged in
propagandizing its ideas and programs. The major party organ was
"AVGI," the party daily newspaper which had the fifth highest
circulation. Also, the KKE leadership broadcasted instruction,
proposals and communist propaganda over the "voice of truth" radio
station from bucharest, romania.
6.32--ac1. No information.
6.33--1, ac6. One source mentions that the EDA passed
6.34--2, ac6. Programs were commonly issued by the party as part
of their propaganda effort.
6.50 providing for welfare of party members
6.51, 6.52, 6.54, and 6.55, ac1. No information
6.53--1, ac6. The EDA only provided for social welfare when it
interceded with the government on the citizens" behalf. The party
hierarchy was well-developed and organized to deal with the
problems and questions of the citizens. The party secretariat and
the parliamentary deputies acted as the links between the citizen
and the government.
Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 sources of funds
7 , ac6
The bulk of the party's funds came from party sources. These
included membership dues, over two-thirds of the deputies"
salaries, party stores that sell imported goods from eastern
Europe, and from so-called " friends of the party." trade unions
also contributed and there were house-to- house solicitations by
7.02 source of members
5 (sectors 01, 03), ac5
Membership in EDA was entirely direct. In 1958, 24 percent of the
membership were lawyers and 16.4 percent had employee
classifications. These were the two groups which contributed the
7.03 sources of leaders
3 (sector 03), ac5
One source reports that the EDA candidates in the 1963 elections
were composed of 23 percent lawyers and 18 percent intellectuals,
which makes the professional and educational sectors dominant in
the party. The leadership of the EDA was split between those with
military backgrounds and those with professional backgrounds
(lawyers and doctors). For example, Passalides was a doctor, and
Sarafis and Hadjimihalis were generals of the Greek army.
7.04 relations with domestic parties
The EDA entered electoral alliances in 1956 (the Democratic Union)
and 1961 (Pame). These alliances did not require the EDA to
sacrifice much autonomy, however, and it was clearly the dominant
partner in the case of Pame.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
The EDA had close relations with the exiled Communist Party of
Greece (KKE) stationed in Bucharest and with the CPSU (Communist
Party of Soviet union ). The links were strong, but the EDA did
depart from their instructions and policies at certain times
during the period. The KKE sent policy and strategy directives to
the EDA leadership. There is also some evidence of monetary help
from the CPSU and joint Soviet union/EDA propaganda during the
1958 election campaign.
Organizational Complexity Variables,
8.01 structural articulation
The EDA consisted of both governing and administrative organs
which were at the national level. The membership on the governing
organizations was prescribed. Their responsibilities as well as
the responsibilities of the administrative organs were clearly
8.02 intensiveness of organization
The EDA had the most intense organization of any political party
in Greece. Its basic element was a cell-type organization located
in villages, city neighborhoods, and at jobs.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
The EDA established and maintained party organizations throughout
the country. Although the strength of the EDA was highly variable,
the party organizations covered the country. For example, during
1958, over 6,000 party offices were claimed throughout the
8.04 frequency of local meetings
Although data is available on the size of the cells (three to
seven members), no information is discernible as to the frequency
of the local meetings.
8.05 frequency of national meetings
The EDA national committee (called the party congress) met every
third year to elect the governing committee and decide the party's
policies. The governing committee met twice a year.
8.06 maintaining records
The EDA expended much energy in publishing newspapers,
resolutions, communiques, books, and many other types of printed
material. Although no mention of membership lists is available, it
can be assumed that lists were kept because dues were collected
from the membership.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
Information is only available on the labor sector of Greek
society. Mostly during the second half, the EDA infiltrated
several labor organizations. These included the democratic
syndicalist movement and the federation of Greek maritime workers.
Few members were enlisted, and the party's control was medium. In
October 1958, three pro-EDA unions were admitted into the general
confederation of Greek workers (GSEE) and one known communist was
elected to GSEE's executive committee.
Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 nationalization of structure
The EDA had a discernible party hierarchy which ran from the
national organs to regional organs to the cells. The parliamentary
deputies belonged to an organ which controlled the EDA. This organ
was subordinate to the other national organs which selected its
9.02 selecting the national leader
The leader of the EDA was selected within the governing committee,
which was one of the national executive committees. The
ratification occurred every third year when the party congress
elected the members of the governing committee.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
Although local committees may have proposed candidates, most
candidates were chosen by a national party committee--either the
governing or executive committee. These committees also decide
where the candidates were to run.
9.04 allocating funds
Funds were collected at all levels by the national organization.
Its supervisory committee for discipline and finance was
responsible for collection and allocation.
9.05 formulating policy
Policy positions were determined by a combination of party
subgroups. Every third year the party congress voted on policies.
In between, the executive committee (deputies are members)
decided. There is some evidence that the exiled KKE sent policy
directives to the EDA.
9.06 controlling communications
The EDA and its major backer, the exiled KKE, controlled several
important and influential communications media. These were the
"voice of truth " radio station, the party daily newspaper, AGVI,
and other printed periodicals and newspapers.
9.07 administering discipline
The supervisory committee for discipline and finance, which was
part of the top national executive committee, was responsible for
9.08 leadership concentration
Leadership was collectively centralized in the executive committee
and secretariat of the EDA. Its president was very
influential--but these committees as a whole were responsible for
deciding strategy, policies, tactics , and ideology.
Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 legislative cohesion
10.02 ideological factionalism
Ideological concerns were debated by the party leaders, but
factions did not result.
10.03 issue factionalism
Issues were debated by the party leaders, but no factions
10.04 leadership factionalism
For the EDA, no leadership contests are discernible.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
Electoral strategy and tactics were debated among the leadership
of the EDA. No factions resulted in the EDA. However, in the
parent group (KKE), factions did result, and an important
leadership change took place in 1956 because of the strategic and
10.06 party purges
0 for 1st half, ac8
no purges are discernible.
Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 membership requirements
The members of the EDA paid dues and therefore registered as party
members. There were formal membership requirements.
11.02 membership participation
There is some evidence which suggests that 9.3 percent of the
population of Greece were "hard core" sympathizers who constituted
a source of manpower to follow the directives of the party
hierarchy. No information exists which analyzes the attendance
practices of party members.
11.03 material incentives
11.04 purposive incentives
Almost all of the militants seem to have been motivated by
purposive incentives. These included loyalty to communist
principles and the final goal of the communist movement in
Greece--the communist control of the country.
Marxist-Leninist ideology underlied the EDA's actions and goals.
Reference to this body of literature was common but not continual
or in its exact form. The EDA had no well defined ideology. It
drew from communist ideology its basic long term ends and
Most militants (the 9.3 percent mentioned earlier) seem to have
been motivated more by personal loyalty to the cause and end of
communism than to any one individual. However, parliamentary
candidates were drawn from the leadership of the old Communist
Party and its military sections which participated in the civil