Eleftherios Venizelos and the country's international relations

The Greek politician attempted to apply an ambitious foreign policy, in particular from 1928 onwards. He maintained the successful policy of the bilateral treaties of his predecesors through which he hoped to gain the maximum possible benefits. Devoted to the spirit of the League of Nations, Venizelos aimed at the reinforcement of collective processes, but understood the country's need to become part of the international system. For this reason he redefined the relationship with the Great Powers (England, France). However, throughout his four-year term of office (1928-32) he mainly gave priority to domestic rather than foreign policy. He proceeded to bring down military expenses in order to redirect the state budget towards the huge task of economic recovery and social relief. In the international context, the project of the Greek-Turkish understanding that he personally promoted occupied a central position. However, thanks to his personal flexibility, and the quest for wider inter-state organizations for the promotion of peace, the maintenance of the status quo with the Great Powers was undermined by the economic crisis and the destabilization of international life in the mid 1930s.