West German Defence Minister Franz J. Strauss arrived in Athens Mar 10 for talks with?
West German Defence Minister Franz J. Strauss arrived in Athens Mar 10 for talks with Greek leaders. During his six-day stay, Herr Strauss will visit military bases in Northern Greece.
At the airport to greet him were Deputy Prime Minister Canellopoulos; and Defence Under Secretary George Themelis; Lieut-Gen. Frontistis, Chief of the Greek National Defence Staff; Air Commodore Margaritis, Chief of the Greek Royal Air Force.
After inspecting an honour guard with the Greek Deputy Prime Minister, Herr Strauss at a press conference at the airport said he would not negotiate for West German bases in Greece.
This formal denial followed speculation on the subject since the revelation of West Germany's inquiry for bases in Spain. However, despite Herr Strauss' denial, and also that of Greek Foreign Minister Averoff, some political circles in Athens insisted Herr Strauss and Prime Minister Karamanlis would confer on this subject.
The visit of Herr Strauss, his first in Athens as Defence Minister, followed the recent exchanges of military attaches between the two countries. Likely to follow: courtesy visits by West German warships and aircraft.
Accompanying Herr Strauss were Major-Gen. Werner Panitzki, Chief of the Armed Forces Staff; Colonel Werner Repenning, Herr Strauss' military adviser; and Colonel Herbert Becker, economic adviser.
Until now, West German interest in Greece, since the German Occupation in World War Two, lay in the re-establishment of trade ties.