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Enlarged Photograph (68kB)

The demand for the inter-Balkan cooperation

The country's international relations
Bilateral relations with Turkey and Italy
Relations with YugoslaviaContacts with Britain
The policy of 'equidistance'

The Greek foreign policy, 1936-1944

Relations with Yugoslavia

The Greek-Yugoslavian relations entered a period of intense crisis during the 1930s. The bone of contention was the Free Zone of Salonica and Yugoslavia's access to the Aegean Sea. Yugoslavia's requests for cheaper charges for the use of the railway line between Gevgeli (Greek-Yugoslav frontier) and Salonica was partly satisfied from Greece in 1925.

However, the Yugoslav demands for the exclusive control of the whole Free Zone were rejected by the Greek governments and the negotiations between the two countries broke down in an atmosphere of tension and crisis. The efforts to find a satisfactory compromise solution continued from 1926 onwards, but the final settlement came as late as 1929. The Greek-Italian rapprochement in 1928 highlighted to the Yugoslav government the danger of the country's potential isolation and encirclement, thus forcing her to adopt an attitude of cooperation with the Greek government. This led to substantial concessions which rendered a Greek-Yugoslav agreement feasible. With the Protocol of 1929 Greece safeguarded irreversibly her right to control the Free Zone and the railway line, conceding in return favourable conditions for a Yugoslav access to Salonica and the Aegean Sea.

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