Greek Prime Minister Gounaris and Foreign Minister Baltazzi had spent several months, cap-in-hand, visiting their counter-parts in London and Paris vainly attempting to raise funds to support the Greek armies in Anatolia. From a distance Venizelos had urged that Constantine’s departure as King would resolve the Allies’ opposition to supporting Greece, but France and Italy were already openly supporting the Turks. Britain urged to wait for negotiations for an organised Greek military withdrawal from Smyrna and central Anatolia.
Upon his return to Athens in early March, Gounaris lost a vote of confidence in the Greek Parliament, was briefly replaced by the moderate royalist Stratos as Prime Minister, and then again returned to power. As the Morning Post’s anonymous “Special Correspondent,” Gilbert reported that, although the royalists were still in power in Parliament, their Venizelist opponents were once again on the ascendant both in the countryside, which he was touring while studying archaeology, and in Athens where a Venizelist newspaper had been revived. Venizelos himself, however, refused appeals to return home from a trip through North and South America. Time for Greece was running out.