Incorporation of Macedonia into the Greek State

Haralampos Papastathis

Administrative integration  

The process of the incorporation of Macedonia into the Greek state began more or less simultaneously with the military operations of the First Balkan War. It was a particularly difficult task, being different in many ways from that of the incorporation of the other regions of the 'New Lands', as those former provinces of the Ottoman Empire were called - and still are, quite misleadingly - which were definitely annexed to Greece after the Balkan Wars and the First World War. 

To begin with, the inhabitants of Macedonia, as was the case with the whole of the central Balkans, lacked national, religious, linguistic and cultural homogeneity. The armed conflict during the Macedonian Struggle had caused a rift in the relations between the different ethnic  (elements, and Macedonia itself was the object of the ambitions of Bulgaria, Serbia and Austria-Hungary, I which since the time of the Eastern Crisis of 1875-1878 had become a Balkan Power and had been striving to reach Thessaloniki, "cette ville convoitee" (that coveted city), as Risal- Nehama called it. The various powers felt unease both at the change in the political map and over any cutting back of the privileges, which their subjects enjoyed under the system of the capitulations. Romania and the Albanian League, with the support of Austria-Hungary and Italy respectively, had an interest in maintaining their relations with certain sections of the Macedonian population, and in promoting the rights of the latter. Moreover, the Greek state did not possess the necessary experience to govern provinces with the peculiarities described above, and particularly in the delicate circumstances of military occupation. There were further important factors complicating the situation: the lack of trust in state authority - as a result of the decay of the Ottoman state - on the part of the population, the continuation of military operations, the problems of food supplies and the safeguarding of public order which had been caused by the flooding of the urban centers by thousands of refugees and Ottoman prisoners of war, and the presence of 30,000 Bulgarian troops in Thessaloniki. The difficulties facing the Greek administration, which was called upon, on the one hand, to establish the presence of the rule of law and, on the other, to safeguard, by its general policies, the territory of Macedonia from any plans for its secession from the body of the nation, can easily be imagined.  

The process of the administrative incorporation of Macedonia into the Greek state can be divided into two periods: before and after the Treaty of Bucharest, on the signing of which (10 August 1913), the regions of Westem, Central and Eastern Macedonia came definitively into the possession of Greece.

Immediately after the declaration of war, the Venizelos government appointed the prefect of Larissa, Periklis Argyropoulos and the diplomat Ion Dragoumis as political and diplomatic advisers, respectively, to the Commander-in-Chief Crown Prince Constantine. Furthermore, it declared the territories north of the Spercheios river, as well as every province occupied, in a state of siege. The rapid - and in some circles, unex­pected - advance of the army raised as a matter of urgency the kind of political administration to be applied in the newly liberated areas. There, Greece already exercised military occupation (occupatio bellica), given that their eventual fate would be decided after the end of the hostilities. The fact that full sovereignty could not yet be exercised did not preclude the appointment official authorities. The first civil governor in a Macedonian province to be appointed was the Prefect of the Cyclades, Angelopoulos, at that time serving in the army at Kozani. The way in which Periklis Argyropoulos exercised for the first time the powers of prefect of Thessaloniki before he had even been appointed is typical of the hasty manner in which the multifarious problems were dealt with. As he tells us in his memoirs, although the surender of the city had been signed the day before, on 27 October 1912 Constantine was still at Topsin (Gephyra). In the meantime, as soon as they learnt at Thessaloniki that the Bulgarian army had already reached Yailacik (Filyro), Argyropoulos and Dragoumis attempted to send a messenger by the quickest possible means to Topsin: "... We went to the station, where a Turkish official or, rather, a Jew received us. I asked him for a train to Topsin. 'And who may you be, sir?’ he asked. I did not hesitate; I repeated the order in writing, signing myself 'Prefect of Thessaloniki, which I was not. The official vacillated no longer, but conformed with my order”.  

After the installation of the military authorities in Thessaloniki, the need for the systematic organization of civil administration was strongly felt. On 28 October, Constantine, in a telegram to the government, stressed the need for Greek legislation to be introduced into the occupied territories, a measure which the Serbs and Bulgarians had already applied in own zones of occupa­tion. To this end, the Commander-in-Chief asked for: 1. The setting up of his own political bureau, staffed by senior civil servants. This bureau would: a. be subject to his orders; b. exercise all those powers which according to law belonged to ministries; c. transmit Constantine's orders to the local civil authorities; 2. The division of the Macedonian provinces into three prefectures, as, anyway, they were under the existing administrative arrangements: Thessaloniki, Kozani (formerly Servia) and Kastoria (formerly Korytsa) 3. the appointment of prefects with the same powers as possessed by prefects within the Greek state. For as long, however, as martial law would continue in force, public order would fall within the competence of the military and police authorities and the prefects would confine themselves to indicating to them the measures which they themselves considered it necessary to take. Relations with the religious leaders of the various communities would be entrusted to the prefects, as would the exercise of judicial duties which the consuls of the various states had under Ottoman rule in accordance with the capitulations; 4. The prefects to refer every matter to his political bureau; 5. the setting up of a police directorate in every prefecture under the ultimate command of an officer seconded to the political bureau; 6. the suspension of the civil proces­ses for the duration of the judicial moratorium because of hostilities. Those cases which, under the existing system in Macedonia, fell within the competence of the ecclesiastical courts were to continue to be heard by them. Criminal justice was to be administered by the courts martial; 7. The appointment of financial, postal and telegraph officials, an inspector of education and an official of the interpretation service.  

These measures required by the Crown Prince were inadequate. Moreover, if they had been implemented, they would have given rise to dangerous situations both in the civil administration and for the prospect of the definitive inclusion of the' New Lands under Greek sovereignty. The undertaking of civil administration by the military would have led to arbitrariness, while at the same time interfering with their true mission, which was to carry on the continuing military operations. A framework of civil administration similar to that proposed by Constantine had been introduced by the Bulgarians and Serbs in the territories which they had occupied, where, although they did not have to cope with multiple international problems such as those involving Thessaloniki, they soon had to face the discontent of the population. The views of the Commander-in-Chief served his own personal ambitions: he wished to govern the New Lands single-handed. Civil administration needed to be entrusted to a civilian governor-general, who, as the representative of the Government, would be authorized: a. to issue organic decrees; b. to adapt the existing Ottoman legislation to that of Greece; c. if need be, to amend Greek legislation specially for the Macedonian provinces, according to circumstances as they arose, and d. to take charge of all public authority, except for the armed forces. 6

However, even before it had received Constantine's telegram, the Venizelos government had decided to entrust the provisional administration of the Macedonian regions to Konstantinos Raktivan, Minister of Justice, a distinguished jurist from a Verria family.7 This decision was communicated to King George, and to Constantine himself, on 27 October; it was pointed out to the Crown Prince that he would thus be relieved of distractions ,which had nothing to do with his military tasks. On 30 October 1912, Raktivan landed on the way at Thessaloniki under constant fire and to the whistling of bullets".8 He was accompanied by a number of civil servants, journalists and 168 men of the Cretan gendarmerie. On 31 October, George I, who was already in Thessaloniki, signed the decree appointing Raktivan as representative of the government "not without a measure of displeasure", pointing out himself that he regarded him as being there to help the Crown Prince, "to whom, in a certain sense the entire authority over the occupied lands belonged".

Immediately after officially undertaking his new duties, Raktivan addressed a message to the people of Macedonia in which he stressed that it was Greece's purpose to provide "... the benefits of freedom to all the inhabitants of the country without; discrimination, be­cause true freedom cannot have meaning without com­plete equality among those peoples living under the aegis of the same state... The task, which the army has so gloriously begun, will be crowned by the firm estab­lishment of an administration worthy of a civilized state, an administration which is strong, but which also guarantees equality before the law. With these two sym­bols before us, we shall regulate the operation of state machinery, never overlooking, of course, the reasonable claims of the inhabitants, making use, first and foremost, of competent persons recruited locally without distinction of race and religion, and completing the whole organization with suitable functionaries who will ensure in every respect the normal and impeccable operation of the administration. We demand from all strict and faith­ful observance of the laws and obedience to orders given. Of the subordinate authorities (we require) particularly the fulfillment, according to their oath, of their individual duties, absolute impartiality and a paternal approach in general towards those under their authority. Of the citizens of the various nationalities, both as a whole and individually, (we require) sincere harmony, mutual respect and concord, in the conviction that under the new rule of freedom, no one may enjoy advantages over others, but that full equality and justice should prevail...".10

As becomes clear from the message, during the Greek military occupation the Greek administration's activities were to rest on two bases: a. the principle of equality offal the inhabitants, and b. respect for the rights already enjoyed by each ethnic and religious element. Years later, Georgios Balis, who belonged to the op­posite political camp, admitted of Raktivan that "rarely has a civil governor more faithfully fulfilled the under­takings which he made on taking office"." !n the exer­cise of his administrative duties, Raktivan proved a realist: the Greek administration did not go ahead imme­diately with sweeping reforms. It respected existing arrangements, its chief concern being the functioning of those institutions in Macedonia as they stood, as long as they did not harm the interests of Greece.'2 The Royal Decree appointing Raktivan, in laying down that "Our Minister of Justice is hereby commissioned... as repre­sentative of the Hellenic Governrnent, to regulate the affairs of the provisional administration of the occupied lands... ,,13, gave him most extensive powers and an authority which was literally absolute and subject to no control. Thus a system of administration, which was both in essence, and method was introduced spe­cially for Macedonia. '4 The individual scope of duty had not been defined, but was "mostly left to the sound judgment of the civil servants".'5 Raktivan's abilities and integrity ensured, however, that what was, in effect, a personal framework of administration did not give rise to arbitrary conduct. He was exact, independent and

Diplomatic. He was, where necessary, exceptionally ef­ficient in adapting Greek legislation to the realities of the situation in Macedonia. He moved quickly in executing decisions and handling business, a quality that was particularly appreciated by all those who had experience of the procrastination of the Ottoman administration. 16 Furthermore, he chose competent assistants and knew how to make the best of the staff which he had under him. The secretary general to the governor was G. Tsor­batzoglou, who had taken part in the Macedonian Strugle. As we have seen, Argyropoulos served as prefect of Thessaloniki. His special associates drawn from the Ministry of the Interior were K. Dimaras, I. Dragoumis, N. Mavroudis, V. Dendramis, Kontogouris, Stergiadis and Lambros, and, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I. Lazaridis, A. Zavitsanos, A. Mantzaris, I. Triantaphyl­lidis, D. Sotiriou, S. Vasileiou, P. Evrypaios and G. Homatianos. The services of the Ministry of Finance were staffed by G. Kophinas, S. Tattis, G. Mantzavinos, S. Papaloukas, A. Vamvetsos and Papaderos. The Public Health Service was headed by K. Savvas, a University professor, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry by P. Dekazos and the Labour Bureau by T. Liverios. The Inspector of Antiquities in Thessaloniki was G. Oikonomou:'7

The activities of the Greek administration were based upon the provisions of international law, more specifi­cally on the Hague Conventions of 1907, which provided for the continuation in force of that legislation which already existed in the occupied territories.1  The Greek government let it be known that the existing Ottoman laws would indeed continue in force, provisionally and until the issuing of a fresh decree: for example, the provisions concerning public and local administration in the narrow sense (administrative divisions, municipalities and communities, councils of  Elders of religious communities, etc.) As well as the Ottoman civil and commercial law. However, it was Neither possible nor desirable that the implementation of administrative laws which smacked of the absolutism And arbitrariness of the sultan's rule should continue in full.

It was for this reason that the government gave its representative in Macedonia carte blanche in dealing with matters arising. The Greek administration issued various legislative acts (organic provisions, instructions, orders and circulars), which, without overlooking commitments deriving from international law were directed chiefly at dealing with immediate needs. The exercise of this legislative power by the administration of Macedonia rested upon the political responsibility of the Greek government. Law 4134/28.2-2.3.1913 "concern­ing the administration of the lands under military oc­cupation", for the drafting of which Raktivan was responsible, provided the acts of the administration -termed 'regulations' - with legal grounds. Moreover, Article 16 of that law ratified retrospectively all acts issued and put into force up to that point.

The principal arrangements introduced by Law 4134 were the following: the civil administration of the oc­cupied areas was to be carried out by the government, either through a representative drawn from its members or by another mandatory, who was to take the title of Governor-General or General Administrative Commis­sioner. The governor was entrusted with all administra­tive authority, except for that which related to the duties of the armed forces. More specifically, his mandate covered: a. the organization and functioning of public services; b. the appointment and dismissal of civil ser­vants, the definition of their duties and remuneration, and the fixing of the level of administrative expenditure; c. the maintenance and management of the public ser­vices and the disposal of their revenue; d. the regulation of all administrative issues in general and the issuing of related acts; e. the taking of any emergency measure.

In his acts, the governor was not to be restricted by any term or formality, with the single exception of those put into force by that same law. Civil servants of the Ottoman state were to retain their posts, simply affirming on oath that they would carry out their duties conscien­tiously. The municipal and community authorities were kept on, unless the governor-general considered their abolition was a necessity. Civil servants in various ser­vices, as well as those under mobilization, could be seconded to civil services in the occupied territories. Administrative divisions were to be maintained, unless the governor general should, for reasons of expediency, otherwise determine. Ottoman legislation (civil, com­mercial, administrative, financial, fiscal) was also as a rule kept in force, except for those provisions, which were contrary to Greek public order as well as on cases of insuperable obstacles to their implementation. Greek

Penal and police legislation was to be applied from the first day of military occupation. In the case of offences committed prior to that date, the rule of the implemen­tation of the provision most lenient to the defendant prevailed. Greek civil and criminal procedure was also introduced. The courts were to hear all cases pending and arising from that point on, both civil and criminal. The religious courts of the communities with jurisdiction over certain cases of family law, and other instances of special jurisdictions recognized by international con­ventions signed by the Ottoman state were respected. The jurisdiction of the Thessaloniki, Court of Appeal was extended to the whole of the territory under military occupation (Macedonia, Epirus, the Aegean Islands). The professions of lawyer and notary public were to be practiced by those who had had that capacity under the Ottoman regime and by those who qualified as such under the Greek law and were appointed by the gover­nor. The Greek system was applied to the organization of the Courts of Law. At the same time the community and religious authorities continued to exercise their right to draw up contracts. Any act in law inter vivos involving the transfer of ownership or the establishment of any other real right on immovable property in the occupied territories and the leasing for more than five years of farm land was prohibited, on pain of absolute nullity, as was the ceding of any right on natural resources.

Law 4134/1913 introduced a system of the most extensive decentralization and gave to the government 5 representative in Macedonia - as well as to the governors of the other regions in the New Lands - legislative powers. Issues, which arose, were resolved by decisions of the local administration without interference and in­terventions from Athens. This system of administration did not last for very long after Macedonia was de/ure included within the borders of the Greek state.2 By degrees it was superseded, to be finally abolished as we shall see, by the Gounaris government in 1915.2:1 From then on, the administrative dependence of Macedonia on Athens was consolidated, although it proved quite un­successful in the case of an ethnically sensitive region with a tradition of public and local administration dif­ferent from that of Old Greece.

During the period up to the Treaty of Bucharest, Macedonia was divided into three prefectures and a total of 18 provinces (the prefecture of Thessaloniki with the former kazas of Thessaloniki, Verria, Yannitsa, Edessa, Karatzova, Langada, Kassandra, Katerini and Mount Athos as its provinces; the prefecture of Kozani with the former kazas of Elassona, Servia, Kozani, Grevena anc Anaselitsa as its provinces, and the prefecture 0Z Western Macedonia with Florina as its capital). An administrative commissioner was installed in each province, to be in charge of all civil servants and the police - but not of the judicial and military authorities -being entrusted with all executive authority in the broadest sense, from the more general needs of the region to the individual rights and interests of the citizen Supervision of public health and education and the provision of social welfare also fell within his com­petence. Local people were among those appointed as civil servants. A central public health service was set up in Thessaloniki, headed by Prof. K. Savvas, chairman of the latrosynedrion (Supreme Public Health Council), which undertook preventive and therapeutic measures for health in the city and provinces and was at the same time equipped to deal with epidemics. A street plan was drawn up for Thessaloniki. The civil servants of the Ottoman state, the local authorities (mayors, presidents of communities) and the heads of the religious corn­munities and their establishments were generally al­lowed to retain office, but there was a certain reluctance among the officials of the former regime to remain at their posts, for fear that this would be seen as a treacherous act in Constantinople.23 With the help of the Greek ad-ministration various lawful requirements of the corn­munities were met, such as the collection of special taxes for the benefit of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki, with the prefecture's assistance. Moreover, the expenditure of the municipality of Thessaloniki was met.24

On 28 April 1913, a census of the population of Thessaloniki was carried out. This did not include the army stationed in the city. The total number of citizens was 157,889, of whom 61,439 were Jews, 45,867 Mus­lims, 39,956 Greeks, 6,263 Bulgarians and 4,364 various foreigners.25

In the city, public security was entrusted to the Cretan gendarmerie; that of the other cities of Macedonia and of the countryside was in the hands of the Greek gendarmerie. These two bodies were reinforced by the recruitment of local men. In the countryside crime was limited mostly to the theft of animals. The task of the two gendarmeries was satisfactorily performed and drew favourable comments from foreigners. A special corps of forest rangers, consisting of local men, was also set up. An archaeological service, based on Thessaloniki and Elassona, was established, as was an agricultural service, with a veterinary surgery, and a labour bureau. The operation of the mines by those agencies, which had received concessions from the Ottoman state, was resumed and continued normally. The rail connection between Thessaloniki and Monastir and Skopje was restored, with a loop near Goumenissa. The Ottoman railway company continued to run this service, which was used by the Greek state only for the transport of troops.

A Court of Appeal was opened in Thessaloniki, while Thessaloniki, Verria, Florina and Kozani had courts of first instance; the chief town of each province had its magistrates' court. The moratorium in force in Old Greece also extended to Macedonia: the courts were occupied with civil cases of an urgent nature (such as interim injunctions concerning the possession of proper­ty, claims for maintenance, eviction proceedings against recalcitrant tenants), while criminal cases came before the ordinary criminal courts only if they did not fall within the jurisdiction of the courts martial. The judicial authorities worked on cases pending and set in order the court archives. In Thessaloniki a special notary public was appointed, while in the provinces the local magistrates performed the same duties. The archives of the Ottoman property register were taken over by the judicial authorities. However, transfers and mortgages of property were forbidden, since there was a danger that under war conditions these would be on terms detrimen­tal to the interests of the owners.26

G. Kophinas, head of department at the Ministry of Finance, took over the economic sector of the Government-General of Macedonia from the end of November 1912. Kophinas set as the aims of his mission: a. the reorganization of the financial services in general in order to meet the tasks of the verification, protection and management of public property, the implementation of taxation and the promotion of private enterprise, and b. economic and fiscal research and study in Macedonia, both for the protection and promotion of trade and industry and for the accurate determination of their revenues and expenditure. In order to satisfy these needs, the archives of the Ottoman Financial Service and those of the movable and immovable property of the Ottoman state were brought together. Provisional regulations of the treasury and the accounting service of the Govern­ment-General were drawn up and ratified on 8 December 1912. By the middle of the same month, financial com­missioners had been appointed in Thessaloniki, Servia, Kozani, Elassona, Yannitsa and Verria, and immediately afterwards in all the other provinces. Taxes in arrears owed to the Ottoman state were collected.

Trade and industry were in a parlous state: they had been in recession since the time of the Italo-Turkish war (1911) and the market had been further depressed by the Balkan War, the suspension of the railway link with Constantinople, Monastir and Skopje and the tardi­ness of the postal and telegraphic service.27 Furthermore, business was adversely affected by rumors that if Thes­saloniki were finally to be awarded to Greece it would lose its extensive economic hinterland, which included the three vilayets of Macedonia, Albania, Epirus, Old Serbia and Thrace. These fears found expression chiefly among the Jews who largely controlled trade and in­dustry.2~ Thus, the Greek administration was faced with the major economic and political problem of securing the necessary conditions for the operation of the mechanism of production under the changed cir­cumstances.29 In order to dispel these fears, there were many exchanges of views between the Jews and the Greek authorities as manifested in a number of articles and interviews in Jewish newspapers.30

In the matter of the revenues of the Ottoman state, Greece respected to the full the existing rights of management of the Ottoman Public Debt and of the Ottoman Tobacco Monopoly, which continued to func­tion normally until mid-1914. In these two areas, Greece confined itself to taking measures designed to safeguard its rights by reason of the war, without excesses. Careful management resulted in the revenues of the tobacco monopoly more than doubling. The rights of the harbour and lighthouses companies were also respected.

Particular attention was paid to the organization of the customs houses. The Thessaloniki customs resumed service immediately after liberation, manned initially by customs officers of the autonomous Cretan state, since they were familiar with the Ottoman laws. The Ottoman customs regulations, drafted by the Briton Crawford, were translated into Greek and published. The Turkish tariff (11% on imported and 1% on exported goods) was kept in force, while commodities moving between Macedonia and Greece, together with raw materials imported by local manufacture and craft industry for processing, were exempt from any duty. The trade list was headed by Austria-Hungary, followed, in that order, by Germany, Italy, France, Britain, Russia, Greece, Bel­gium, the Netherlands and the United States. Proof of the generally smooth operation of the financial services of Macedonia is provided by a comparison between their operating expenses and the revenues which they real­ized, the latter excluding duties in favour of the Ottoman monopolies and the foreign creditors which had super­seded the Ottoman state in its rights and duties. Up to 31 December 1913, the operating expenses of the financial services in Macedonia amounted to 769,528 drachmas and their general revenues to 28,500,000 drachmas. Thus, the former were a mere 2.7% of the latter, while in Old Greece the corresponding figure was 17.8%.

However, the most critical economic problem –one with directly unfavourable repercussions at a political and national level - was that of monetary circulation. Foreign currencies continued to dominate business transactions and Macedonia by tradition-favoured gold. This state of affairs rendered economic control impos­sible, encouraged profiteering and raised monetary bar­riers between Macedonia and the Greek state. The object was to replace the foreign currencies by the drachma, but this, the only solution, involved the risk of upsetting the balance of the Greek monetary system as a whole, since there was a well-founded fear that foreign currency and gold would be transferred to Old Greece, having the same effect on business there. On the proposal of Dimitrios Maximos, a senior official of the National Bank, it was decided to set up a branch of the bank in Thessaloniki. Maximos was appointed director of this branch, while the government later managed, in spite of the opposition of the International Finance Commission, to extend to the New Lands the privilege of the National Bank to issue money for the sum of 80,000,000 drach­mas. Thus, by the end of the First World War, monetary union had been achieved.32

In order to provide financial support for the agricul­tural sector, the Ottoman Farmers' Bank (ZiratBankasL), founded in 1888, was revived. After its books and records concerning the New Lands had been concentrated, the procedure for its liquidation was laid down by legislation. Law 603/1913 sanctioned the articles of association of the new Farmers’ Bank of Macedonia and Epirus, with its registered office in Thessaloniki. This was the only Greek state bank to be based outside Athens. At the same time, the agricultural sector was also aided by the National Bank. Eventually, the Farmers' Bank of Macedonia and Epirus was incor­porated into the Agricultural Bank.33

The various decrees providing for the administration of Macedonia and Law 4134 were characterized by a serious defect: the lack of co-ordination of the activities of the governor-general of Macedonia with the various ministries. This matter had, to all intents and purposes, been left to the civil servants, but ministry officials who had been transferred to Macedonia were at the same time subject both to the Government-General and to their own ministry, to which, anyway, they would soon be return­ing. They were not, thus, at liberty to ignore the views of their ministers, who missed no opportunity of inter­vening in issues in Macedonia corresponding to their own responsibilities. This was the cause of a great deal of friction between Thessaloniki and Athens, as in the case of the setting up of the Labor Bureau, to which the Ministry of the National Economy was opposed. At the same time, the governor's terms of reference cancelled out the powers of the ministries in their individual fields in Macedonia, allowing him in effect to practice direct rule. For that reason, in practice, the 'center' frequently failed to help him in his task. Raktivan's plea in a letter dated 5 November 1913 to Alexandros Diomidis, Min­ister of Finace, and provisionally of Justice, is typical:  "...I beg you in the strongest terms to urge my colleagues to give me less advice and more practical help in the awkward position in which I find myself'. 34

It is, however, a fact that, in spite of the reactions and dangers from internal and external factors, which con­stantly arose in its way, the Government-General of Macedonia succeeded in its mission35, and contributed in good many ways to the definitive inclusion of Macedonia within the Greek state. The most important factor in this success was the professional competence, industry, idealism and personality of many of those in authority. An indication of their abilities is to be found in their subsequent careers and their contribution to the country's public life. To mention but a few: Ion Dragoumis, whose untimely end came as a great loss:  Konstantinos Raktivan as minister of the Interior under­took the restoration of Greek administration in Eastern Macedonia in 1918 and in Western Thrace in 1920, and served as the Council of State's first chairman; Periklis Argyropoulos served repeatedly as minister and ambas­sador; Georgios Kophinas twice held the Ministry of Finance; Vasileios Dendramis was one of the Foreign Ministry's most capable ambassadors; Alexandros Vamvetsos was to become a distinguished jurist; Dimitrios Maximos served as governor of the National Bank,  minister  and  prime  minister;  Georgios Mantzavinos became governor of the Bank of Greece and minister; Nikolaos Mavroudis served as deputy minister of Foreign Affairs; Georgios Oikonomou sub­sequently became professor of archaeology and secretary-general of the Athens Academy; Petros Ev­rypaios served as prefect and minister, and Panagiotis Dekazos as senator and minister. The Venizelos govern­ment had the far-sightedness to second to liberate Macedonia the best and youngest of the civil servants: the most senior among them had risen no higher than the rank of head of department. A little later, when the Government-General of Macedonia was abolished, as well as when it was reconstituted with almost non-existent powers, the standard of civil ser­vants from Old Greece stationed in Macedonia was low and appointments in the northern provinces were regarded as being reserved for those who had fallen into disfavor.

Raktivan retired from his post on 18 June 1913. The same day, the Bulgarian unit, which was encamped in Thessaloniki, surrendered after putting up armed resis­tance. The presence of Bulgarian military units had been a constant and acute problem for Raktivan ever since he had first landed in the Macedonian capital. In his first report to Venizelos, he sought their removal by means of diplomacy.36 on the day of his departure for Athens; he visited "for the first time the Church of Agia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), which hadjust been cleaned out" (it had served as a barracks for the Bulgarians). He himself recounted: "...I felt genuinely relieved of the nightmare which had been hanging over our heads for eight months, and, as I said to the secretary Kyriazidis, who accom­panied me, it was the only happy day of my stay in Thessaloniki". 37

Raktivan was succeeded by the governor-general to Crete and former Prime Minister Stephanos Dragoumis, who was himself a Macedonian, from Vogatsiko, near Kastoria. Dragoumis extended the decentralized system of administration to the3~point where it approached com­plete self-government. His term of office as governor-general was, however, short: he disagreed with the ac­ceptance by Venizelos of the Greek-Romanian protocol appended to the Treaty of Bucharest recognizing the existence of a Romanian minority in Greece, with its own schools, churches and bishop. The protocol remained a dead letter, but Dragoumis resigned from his position on 25 September 1913. Emmanouil Repoulis, who imposed limits on the decentralized and self-governing system of his two predecessors, succeeded him. After his departure (10 April 1914), Themistoklis Sophoulis became governor-general and remained in office until 8 April 1915, when the Gounaris government abolished the Government-General of Mace~donia.39 Law 80/16.11.1913 had already extended the force of Greek legislation to the New Lands, and, at the same time, a series of decrees provided for the introduction of specific acts of legislation and the direct subordination of certain services of the Government General to those of the ministries. Both Repoulis and Sophoulis were champions of the swift introduction of Greek legislation - which was, perhaps, difficult to avoid in the provinces of a single state. At the same time, they gradually abolished all the powers and scope of the government-general to deal directly and in a flexible way with acute local needs. Thus, the Governor-General of Macedonia became a purely decorative state function­ary and the resolution of all issues was now dependent upon the magnanimity of a distant, impersonal and ill-informed 'center'. When, in 1917, the Government General (later to be known as the Ministry of Northern Greece and presently called the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace) was reconstituted, it continued to function on the same footing.