Relations between Italy and Yugoslavia in the interwar period were, broadly speaking, tense, uncooperative and unfriendly. A number of political problems opened up a great rift between Rome and Belgrade: the diplomatic struggle for possession of Istria, Fiume and Dalmatia; the political rivalry for control of Albania; the Italian support for Croatian and Macedonian separatism; and the presence of national minorities within the respective borders (Slovenes and Croats in Venezia Giulia and Italians in Dalmatia). These controversial issues were exacerbated by the wavering attitudes of the Italian government’s policy on Yugoslavia just after the First World War. Italian policy makers were deeply divided as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (the official name of Yugoslavia until 1929), was created in December 1918. For some, the union of the Southern Slavs had thwarted, partially, Italy’s efforts during the war, obstructing their territorial aspirations and hegemonic designs in the Adriatic and in the Balkans. For others, though, the protection of political and economic interests, and the defence of national borders, were connected to a policy of friendship and cooperation with the new Yugoslav State, whose existence had to be accepted and recognised.

An Unavoidable Conflict? The Italian-Yugoslav Confrontation in the Adriatic Sea and the Balkans

Massimo Bucarelli
2019-01-01

Abstract

Relations between Italy and Yugoslavia in the interwar period were, broadly speaking, tense, uncooperative and unfriendly. A number of political problems opened up a great rift between Rome and Belgrade: the diplomatic struggle for possession of Istria, Fiume and Dalmatia; the political rivalry for control of Albania; the Italian support for Croatian and Macedonian separatism; and the presence of national minorities within the respective borders (Slovenes and Croats in Venezia Giulia and Italians in Dalmatia). These controversial issues were exacerbated by the wavering attitudes of the Italian government’s policy on Yugoslavia just after the First World War. Italian policy makers were deeply divided as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (the official name of Yugoslavia until 1929), was created in December 1918. For some, the union of the Southern Slavs had thwarted, partially, Italy’s efforts during the war, obstructing their territorial aspirations and hegemonic designs in the Adriatic and in the Balkans. For others, though, the protection of political and economic interests, and the defence of national borders, were connected to a policy of friendship and cooperation with the new Yugoslav State, whose existence had to be accepted and recognised.
978-88-3313-316-4
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11587/449936
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