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Enlarged Phototgraph (61kB)

International developments
The policy of the Metaxas regime in the Balkans
The new European balance of powers
The laxity of the inter-Balkan cooperation

The collapse of the Balkan security system

The new European balance of powers

The signing of the convention of 1938 was followed by grave and swift developments. Italy's withdrawal from the League of Nation in 1936 (Nazi Germany had withdrawn in 1933) weakened the collective, truly representative dimension of the organisation and brought the two fascist regimes closer to political and military alliance. Their cooperation during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) paved the way for the official declaration of the political alliance - the Axis - in 1937, at the same time that the Nazi regime promoted the so-called anti-Comintern pact with the participation of Italy and Japan.

The increasing self-confidence of the two fascist regimes after the creation of the Axis became apparent in the 1938-1939 period. In March 1938 Germany unilaterally incorporated Austria into the German Reich. In September, Hitler achieved his plans to dismember Czechoslovakia with the Munich Conference, where he elicited the consent of Britain, France and Italy for the annexation of Sudetenland. The remaining rump state of Czechoslovakia was annexed in March 1939, again as a result of a unilateral action of the Nazi regime. As for Italy, in April 1939 Mussolini decided to extend Albania's dependence on his country (according to the treaties of 1927) by landing troops to Durazzo and annexing the country into the so-called "Italian Empire" as a protectorate.

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