Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Corfu Incident (1923)

The Corfu Incident was a diplomatic emergency in 1923. Greece and Albania were quarrelling over their boundary. The two nations took their dispute to the Conference of Ambassadors.
Meanwhile the League of Nations had appointed a commission set up by the Conference of Ambassadors to determine the boundaries. Groups of soldiers that had been called upon to help settle the situation were split up.
Four Italians drove, including General Enrico Tellini (18??–August 27, 1923), in one vehicle and stopped at a road, where a tree had fallen down. As they got out to move it, they were killed on the Greek side of the border.

Italian Reaction
The Italian government, lead by Benito Mussolini, sent an ultimatum to the Greek government on August 29, 1923, demanding the payment of 50 million lire in reparations and that the assassins be executed. The Greeks were unable to identify the assassins, so Italian forces bombarded and occupied the Greek island of Corfu on August 31, 1923, killing at least fifteen civilians. The location of Corfu, in a strategic position at the head of the Adriatic Sea, provided Mussolini with an ulterior motive for the invasion, for which Tellini's assassination was a convenient pretext.
Greece appealed to the League of Nations, which initially condemned the Italian occupation. The dispute was handed over to the Conference of Ambassadors, an organization established by the allies in 1919 to deal with problems arising out of the peace treaties following the First World War, and Italy and Greece agreed to be bound by its decision. The Conference of Ambassadors largely followed the Italian demands, ordering Greece to apologise and pay reparations, a decision that Greece accepted. Italy left Corfu on September 27, 1923. The decision was internationally criticized - it submitted to the aggression of a bigger world power instead of protecting the smaller Greece from attack.

(Retrieved from "")

No comments: