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GREEK AND BULGARIAN ANTIPATHIES

How near Greece was to an alliance with Turkey the world may never know. At the nothing of the sort was even suspected. It was not until Turkey had been overpowered by the forces of the four Christian states and the attitude of Bulgaria toward the other three on the question of the division of the conquered territories had become irreconcilable and menacing that Mr. Venizelos felt it proper to communicate to the Greek people the history of the negotiations by which the Greek government had bound their country to a partner now felt to be so unreasonable and greedy. Feeling in Greece was running high against Bulgaria. The attacks on Mr. Venizelos's government were numerous and bitter. He was getting little or no credit for the victory that had been won against Turkey, while his opponents denounced him for sacrificing the fruits of that victory to Bulgaria. The Greek nation especially resented the occupation by Bulgarian troops of the Aegean coast lands with their large Hellenic population which lay between the Struma and the Mesta including the cities of Seres and Drama and especially Kavala with its fine harbor and its hinterland famed for crops of choice tobacco.

It was on the fourth of July, 1913, a few days after the outbreak of the war between Bulgaria and her late allies, that Mr. Venizelos made his defence in an eloquent and powerful speech at a special session of the Greek parliament. The accusation against him was not only that during the late war he had sacrificed Greek interests to Bulgaria but that he had committed a fatal blunder in joining her in the campaign against Turkey. His reply was that since Greece could not stand alone he had to seek allies in the Balkans, and that it was not his fault if the choice had fallen on Bulgaria. He had endeavored to maintain peace with Turkey. Listen to his own words:

"I did not seek war against the Ottoman Empire. I would not have sought war at a later date if I could have obtained any adjustment of the Cretan question--that thorn in the side of Greece which can no longer be left as it is without rendering a normal political life absolutely impossible for us. I endeavored to adjust this question, to continue the policy of a close understanding with the neighboring empire, in the hope of obtaining in this way the introduction of reforms which would render existence tolerable to the millions of Greeks within the Ottoman Empire."



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