|The relations with Nazi Germany
The rapprochement between National Socialist Germany and Greece was mainly due to two factors: the form of Metaxas' Regime, and the development of trade between the two countries. It must be noted of course that Greek-German contact had a long tradition, especially in the field of culture (influences of classical Greece etc.).
In the field of trade, after 1935, Germany was developing into Greece's most important partner on the basis of older agreements on trade clearing. Berlin welcomed the establishment of the Regime of the Fourth of August, though it was hardly unexpected since the new political situation allowed the Third Reich to hope for an expansion of the German weapons trade. The degree of economic dependence decreased only after 1939 when, under pressure from the Athens-London axis, the Greek-German trade exchanges were placed on a new footing. The growing provocation of Italian expansionism and the formation of the Italian-German axis eliminated any dilemma in choosing the path the country had to follow. Thus, despite the economic ties and the ideological affinity with Nazi Germany, Greece's political choices tended ultimately - despite occasional waverings - towards Britain. After the declaration of the Second World War, and under pressure from Britain, in October 1939 Greece signed a trade agreement restricting its exports to Germany. It was the first serious violation of Greek neutrality, and it caused an anticipated strong reaction in Germany. From as early as the start of 1940, the active political and economic harnessing of Greece to British interests was taken for granted in the plans of the General Staffs of the belligerent countries.