Serbian problem: Retreat into Greece or Albania?

Northern Army’s success: Possible junction with Allies

THE OBSCURITY veiling events in the Balkans is not altogether fortuitous but if we are designedly kept in the dark it does not follow that events are taking the course least desired.

If this is a correct reading of the situation, it also follows that the speculation as to the compelling motives is inadvisable in our interests and, it may be added without being too revealing, perhaps in the interests of Greece as well.

It will be recognised, one imagines, that Constantine has got himself and his country into a sad mess, but any feeling of pity we may have entertained has disappeared before the fact that in creating difficulties for himself the king of Greece has added immeasurably to our own.

He is probably better informed now than he was a few weeks ago and he has had to decide whether he had gone too far along the path of dishonour to retrace his steps, or, rather, in which direction safety lay.

This is put in the past tense, for in all probability the die has been cast, and we have only now to await a definite announcement or, failing that, tantamount action.

Unofficial statements there are in plenty, and, failing anything better, we are compelled to reproduce them - with the standing proviso that they must not be regarded as in any sense authoritative.

As likely as not the wind blowing these straws about proceeds from bellows, but if we bear that possibility in mind we shall not be deceived as to the trend of events.

With these qualifications, it may be said that the latest news concerning the pourparlers between Greece and the Entente Powers indicate that a satisfactory agreement is not ruled out.

It is stated that Greece will give all the assurances asked for by the Entente concerning the positions of the Allied troops in the Balkans but is determined to avoid participation in the war.

According to information received in Rome the concessions include the withdrawal of the Greek Army from Salonika and demobilisation, and the Allies have been offered a stretch of Greek territory in which to concentrate their troops, with the pledge that neither Serbian nor Allied troops will be disarmed if they confine themselves to this territory.

Whether the Allies regard this as good enough remains to be seen; it seems hardly likely.

The whole situation is indefinite, and may be still further complicated if there is any truth in a report issued in Rome that additional men have been called to the colours thus raising the Greek army to a total of 500,000.

The Greeks have been described as “the greatest opportunists in the world” and if the King is proceeding simply on the lines such a phrase indicates, instead of acting from family reasons, it is difficult to believe that he will continue any longer to flout the Entente Powers.

He must have recognised by this time that his earlier anticipation’s as to the results of the war were not well founded.