American aid was, as we have seen, vital to economic recovery, and it was administered as part of a strategy for the rehabilitation of western Europe. In the international conditions after 1945, when the United States and the Soviet Union offered competing models of political and economic develop ment, each tried to direct the countries in its sphere onto its chosen road. The underdeveloped countries of the Mediterranean region (Turkey, Greece, southern Italy, Spain and Portugal) were especially influenced by American aid, which was later largely replaced by private investment, domestic and foreign. Partly as a result of American influence, the governments of these countries addressed themselves in a more systematic and better-equipped way than ever before to the promotion of economic growth. The unpre cedented scale of this growth can be accounted for by the fact that these countries tried, and cooperated, to realise the benefits of new technologies and international trade.1 Governments must moreover have increased their peoples’ productivity by programmes to improve their health.