The island of Corfu, which was a territory contested by Italy and Greece, was the setting for Benito Mussolini’s first act of disobedience to international opinion and to the will of the League of Nations. The crisis began in August 1923 when an Italian military mission charged with delimiting the border between Greece and Albania was fired upon near Giannina in Greece. The commander of the mission, General Enrico Tellini, and three others were killed. Without consulting the League of Nations, a furious Mussolini sent an ultimatum to Greece requesting a formal apology, an indemnity of 50 million lire, and a rapid inquiry to find the guilty and punish them with death. The Greek government, which denied responsibility for the incident, declined. The Italian navy bombarded and occupied Corfu on 31 August 1923.
   Greece appealed to the League of Nations, and on 3 September 1923, the League condemned Italy’s action. Mussolini threatened to withdraw from the organization but subsequently backed down when a conference of ambassadors from the other major European powers accepted that Italy’s claim to an indemnity was legitimate. Italian troops evacuated Corfu at the end of September 1923. An international commission of inquiry proved unable to identify the perpetrators of Tellini’s murder. The Corfu incident, while trivial in itself, illustrated Mussolini’s impatience with the new forms of international governance and his ambitions to extend Italy’s power in the Mediterranean.
   See also Ethiopia; Fascism; Foreign Policy.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

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  • Corfu — • One of the Ionian Islands, at the entrance of the Adriatic, opposite the Albanian coast, from which it is separated by a narrow channel Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Corfu     Corfu …   Catholic encyclopedia

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  • Corfu — Corfu, NY U.S. village in New York Population (2000): 795 Housing Units (2000): 336 Land area (2000): 0.988500 sq. miles (2.560204 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.988500 sq. miles (2.560204 sq …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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  • corfu — CORFU, ou Corfou, ou Corphou, nunc Corfinium, olim Corcyra. Insula maris Adriatici, ditionis Venetorum …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Corfu — [kôr′fo͞o; kôr fo͞o′, kôrfyo͞o′] 1. one of the Ionian Islands, off the W coast of Greece: 247 sq mi (640 sq km) 2. its chief city, a seaport: pop. 37,000 …   English World dictionary

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  • Corfu — /kawr fooh, fyooh/; It. /kawrdd fooh /, n. 1. Ancient, Corcyra. one of the Ionian Islands, off the NW coast of Greece. 89,664; 229 sq. mi. (593 sq. km). 2. a seaport on this island. 29,374. Greek, Kerkyra. * * * Greek Kérkira One of the Ionian… …   Universalium

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