§ 2
Enlarged Photograph (52kB)

International developments

The laxity of the inter-Balkan cooperation

The collapse of the Balkan security system
The Greek-Turkish relations
The developments of 1939
Orientation towards Britain
Dilemmas and choices

Dilemmas and choices

In the second half of the 1930s, Greece sought to reinforce her defensive position through the guarantees from the Western Powers for the country's territorial integrity. This strategy was intended not to provoke Fascist Italy, nor to jettison the policy of neutrality towards the major European Powers. Given the growing bipolarity of the European system from 1937 onwards, such a strategy presented multiple problems and posed a series of dangers for Greece. The more pronounced ties with Britain, especially after the guarantees of 1939, and the refusal of the Greek government to renew the treaty of friendship with Italy rendered the reassurances of the Greek government for the country's neutrality less and less credible. In this way, Greece was exposed to the expansionist greed of the Mussolinian regime.

On the other hand, however, neither the collapsing inter-Balkan cooperation nor the limited character of the British-French guarantees could form an effective shield for political and military protection. In these circumstances, Greek foreign policy was confined to a wait-and-see strategy, recognising that the fluid international balance of power was about to be dramatically transformed within a short period of time.

Home Page of ΙΜΕ
Home PagePhotographsBibliographyCreative Team
International treaties and Greek foreign policy before 1936 The foreign policy of Ioannis Metaxas The beginning of the Second World War The war of the Axis against Greece The period of Occupation (1941-44) The war and the liberation The postwar reality Home Page