The Greek foreign policy, 1936-1944
The Greek foreign policy of the 1936-1944 period was shaped under the influence of the Second World War and the international developments which preceded or followed it. In spite of changes in the domestic political landscape in 1936, as a result of the dictatorship, the handling of foreign affairs remained loyal to the general directions and principles which had underpinned Greek foreign policy in the first half of the 1930s.
Metaxas' rise to power in the beginning of 1936 and the imposition of dictatorship on 4 August of the same year were not followed by an ideologically conditioned foreign policy-making. The external orientation of the country remained focused on two principles. First, the strengthening of inter-Balkan cooperation, both in the context of the Balkan Treaty and through the improvement in Greece's bilateral relations with her neighbouring states. Second, the maintenance of a policy of equidistance towards the two international blocs (western powers and Axis countries) in an attempt to avoid an irreversible orientation of the country towards either of the two groups.
The country's involvement in the major confrontation of the Second World War led to a series of new developments and reoriented the domestic affairs and the centres of conflict. During that period the foreign policy was pursued on the fringe of domestic developments and concerned precisely the form and conditions of the domestic political administration. It also concerned Greece's incorporation in the new international framework that was being formed and became known as Cold War.