The Italian ultimatum of 28 October 1940
The Italian ultimatum, which practically aimed at the immediate surrender of the country to the Italian troops, was conveyed to the Greek government during the early hours of the 28th of October by the Italian Ambassador in Athens, Grazzi.
The Italian government accused Greece of allowing Britain to use military bases in Crete, the Aegean and the Ionian Islands against the Axis powers. Furthermore, the Greek government was accused of following a policy of systematic persecution of the Albanian population of Ciamuria, even inside the Albanian territory.
This dubious stance of Greece was interpreted by the Italian government as diametrically opposed to the supposed policy of strict neutrality and dangerous for the Italian interests in the Mediterranean. For this reason, the ultimatum asked from Greece to give fresh guarantees of her neutrality and good intentions towards Italy by permitting the occupation of certain places of strategic importance in the Greek mainland by the Italian armed forces for the duration of the war against Britain.
The ultimatum allowed extremely slim margins of time for the consideration of the Italian demands by the Greek government. This, and the vague character of the Italian demands concerning those "certain" strategic places which were to be occupied (but were not specified in the text), show that the ultimatum had been deliberately drafted and conveyed to Greece in a way that would ensure its rejection by the Metaxas government.