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Some historians have argued that Mussolini’s intention to follow an aggressive and adventurous foreign policy was a direct response to Italy’s pressing economic problems that had arisen from World War I. This problems became so evident that the fascists understood that a vigorous foreign policy would distract the attention of the Italian people from the shortcomings and failures of domestic policy. Undoubtedly  all the successes Mussolini might achieve in his foreign policy would serve as luminous examples of the achievements of Fascism and help strengthen his leadership across the country. Benito Mussolini aim had always been to ‘advance Italy’s strength to the point where the Roman Empire was seen to be reborn’. ‘Il Duce’ recognized the need to promote his country’s prestige abroad. Indeed the failures during WW1 and the humiliation of the Battle of Caporetto in 1917 had incredibly damaged  Italy’s reputation abroad. To follow an adventurous foreign policy, Italy would need the support of reliable allies. In the 1920’s Mussolini signed treaties with different european countries such as Hungary,Spain,Albania and Greece.These treaties were largely commercial but Mussolini still did not achieve his goal which was to win a more influential role. At home supporters of Mussolini aggressive line were certainly found. Nevertheless Mussolini had to appear a mean of peace prepared to achieve his aim through diplomacy. This image lasted until in 1923 an incident occur in the Greek Island of Corfu. On I7 August 1923 Italian representatives present to resolve disputes between Greece and Albania were killed. Although suggested evidence that the assassins were Albanian, Mussolini send an ultimatum to Athens. The terms of the ultimatum were extremely heavy, and when all of them were not accepted the Italian Battleships opened fire. International opinion was divided. Although many foreign powers were critical of Mussolini’s decision, there was also support from the British and French press. The crisis over Corfu ended in a clear victory for Mussolini, the strength displayed allowed Italy to win its first international confrontation and therefore added further to his popularity at home. The crisis over Corfu displayed for the first time the weakness of the League when dealing with aggression of member state. It also showed that the use of force and violence in support of foreign policy was not far from Mussolini’s mind even before the 1930’s. After the Corfu Crisis Mussolini returned to honest statesmanship and man of peace and lead that Domestically people were jubilant. In the autumn of 1925 a conference of European Powers was called at Locarno in Switzerland. The agreements reached signaled a sense of peace based on international cooperation. Mussolini was also able to establish a friendship with British Foreign Secretary Austen Chamberlain. Although the Treaty of Locarno improved relations in Europe, the same cannot be said when talking about the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which Italy was forced to join.However whilst Mussolini was playing the international statesman in Western Europe, he was plotting to expand Italian influence in the Balkans at the expense of the French.

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