Introduction: The Hellenic World outside the national boundaries

Towards the end of the 1920s, the Greek-Italian rapprochement constituted the main priority of Greek diplomacy, initially with Andreas Michalakopoulos and later with Eleftherios Venizelos. Dedication to this strategic policy demanded the avoidance of moves in crucial matters that were deemed inopportune. The regions outside the existing territorial boundaries with solid Greek populations - the Dodecanese islands, Cyprus and North Epirus - formed the core of national claims.
The Italian government responded by explicitly refusing the claim of Athens to recognize Greek interests in the Dodecanese islands. In her turn, Britain continued to insist on maintaining the colonial status of Cyprus and in consequence its hegemony in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. In the face of this rigid attitude on the part of the big regional powers, the refusal of the official Greek government to intervene in the Cyprus issue reflected the new attitude of the country's foreign policy, post-1922, regarding the matter of irredentist populations.