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By the summer of 1943, the armed resistance forces had liberated a vast area in mainland Greece from the Axis occupation. The liberated zones, known thence as Free Greece and inhabited by over a million people, were organized as a counterstate at war with the occupiers in the rest of the country. This gradual formation of a unified liberated territory needed a form of government. In this context, a de facto revolutionary power emerged in the form of the Political Committee of National Liberation (PEEA) in March 1944. This form of power was the outcome and combination of a series of precedent forms of authority in the Greek Resistance, both military and political. Until the liberation of the country in the fall of 1944, the PEEA was the real government in most of the countryside, having issued a series of laws and resolutions and having constituted an impressive administrative mechanism.