Costis J. Ailianos
August 6, 2014
Relations between Greece and Austria-Hungary had never been particularly cordial, despite some brief periods of a certain rapprochement, and Vienna displayed a total lack of consideration for the interests of Athens also during the Balkan Wars. Greek ‘dreams’ were only marginally ‘tangent’ to Vienna’s interests and the Ballhausplatz did not envisage any point of convergence of their political goals. The cooperation, let alone the alliance, between Greece and Serbia proved to be a thorn in the Greco-Austrian relations. All issues of Greek interest met with Vienna’s strong opposition: the drawing of the southern/southeastern borders of Albania; the fate of Thessaloniki and Kavalla; the future of the East Aegean islands. While Austria was aiming at bringing Bulgaria in her sphere of influence, Germany wanted to attract Athens closer to the Triple Alliance, which led to serious misunderstandings between the two empires. Ultimately, this divergence of policy worked in favour of Greece that obtained Thessaloniki and its hinterland, Kavalla, a large part of Epirus, safeguarded her titles on the Aegean islands and secured a common Greco-Serbian borderline. However, the issue of Northern Epirus was left in abeyance until after the First World War. Finally, the Ballhausplatz, re-evaluating the new geopolitical realities in the Balkans, started looking constructively to the future role of Greece in the region.