Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou reportedly has told President Reagan that the prospects for reaching an agreement on the future of U.S. military bases on Greek soil will be jeopardized if the Reagan administration goes ahead with plans to more than double economic and military aid to Turkey without raising aid levels for Greece.
According to informed sources in Athens, Papandreou linked the fate of the bases and the aid levels in a letter to Reagan. The official Greek news agency ANA reported this afternoon that the letter had been sent.
Papandreou's letter was in response to Reagan's budget figures for 1983-1984 submitted to the U.S. Congress this week calling for $759 million in military aid and $175 million in economic assistance to Turkey, more than twice last year's total of $403 million.
The budget projects $282 million in military aid for Greece, virtually the same as last year.
In recent years, U.S. military aid was maintained at a ratio of 7 to 10 for Greece and Turkey. The new figures widen the gap to about 4 to 10.
In his letter, the sources said, Papandreou contends that the new aid ratio will upset the balance of power in the Aegean region and have possible negative repercussions to the stability in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's southeastern flank.
Greece and Turkey, both NATO members, are bitterly at odds in the Aegean over control of air space and continental shelf rights.
In statements to the press here, Papandreou suggested today that the United States is attempting to use the aid balance between Athens and Ankara as a lever to pressure Greece into an agreement on the bases.
Papandreou said the Greek Embassy in Washington had been told that extra U.S. aid funds had been reserved for Greece and would be released if a bases agreement is signed.
Papandreou's Socialist government is seeking to curtail the use of the U.S. bases in line with his party's announced goal of eventually shutting them down. Greek and U.S. negotiators are in the midst of talks on a defense and economic cooperation agreement in Athens.
In his statements today, Papandreou said that "no agreement at all" has been reached on the topics Greece considers central to the talks.
He listed these as the economic and military recompense to Greece for continued operation of the bases, control of base activities and a timetable for the eventual shutdown of the bases.
Papandreou said that the preservation of the 7 to 10 ratio is a fundamental demand by the Greek side in the current bases talks and that this ratio applies to overall, and not just military, aid. "We will not accept different treatment from that in store for our friend and ally Turkey," Papandreou said.
The current third round of talks were to have ended Wednesday, but U.S. negotiator Reginal Bartholomew delayed his return to Washington until Sunday, reportedly because of release of the aid figures.