Introduction: Institutional developments in the framework of international relations, 1923-1940

During the period 1923-40, the transformation of the more general national inclinations within Greece became more evident than in the past. The claims and objectives of the country's foreign policy were radically revised, as were the institutional forms of defining international relations. From the ruins of the First World War emerged a new supra-national organization - the League of Nations - committed to ensuring peace.
The Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, a diplomatic landmark and a high point in the relations of Greece in the inter-war period, allowed the country to become a dynamic player in the new system of European balance. After a five-year period of intsitutional inertia and political isolation, a number of minor agreements indicated the development of negotiations and the contacts the country was forging with the Great Powers (e.g. Italy, Germany), but especially with neighbouring countries (Turkey, Yugoslavia etc.). The tactic of neutrality was the basic element in the strategy of Greek governments. Nevertheless, German penetration in the Balkans and the breach of conventional ties with Italy demonstrated the restricted limits of inter-state agreements concluded in the name of international law without the underpinmning of equivalent mutual interests.