Yugoslav-Italian Economic Relations (1934‒1936) Cover Image

Југословенско-италијански економски односи (1934‒1936)
Yugoslav-Italian Economic Relations (1934‒1936)

Author(s): Goran Latinović
Subject(s): Economic history, Social history, International relations/trade
Published by: Српска академија наука и уметности

Summary/Abstract: After the Great economic crisis (1929‒1933), with the intent to improve their eco nomic relations, Yugoslavia and Italy signed a new trade agreement, an addition to con tracts that had been signed in earlier years. However, due to the Italian policy of autarchy and its approach to Austria and Hungary, Yugoslavia had to search for new economic partners, and an agreement on trade was signed with Germany. Thus, Germany received an open door for the economic penetration of Yugoslavia, suppressing Italy, especially in the months of Yugoslav participation in sanctions against Italy. The already disrupted trade exchange between Yugoslavia and Italy, having a miniscule possibility to reach previous level, became in late 1935 and in the first half of 1936 even more complicated. Although the decrease of Yugoslav exports to Italy was constant, while Yugoslav imports from Italy gradually increased, in the months of sanctions the Yugoslav-Italian trade exchange, as the most significant segment in Yugoslav-Italian economic relations, almost completely died out, seriously damaging the economies of both countries. Germany took advantage of this new situation and stabilized its economic positions in the Balkans. Observed over a longer period, Yugoslav exports to Italy declined so much, as a direct consequence of sanctions, that Italy lost its first position and it was fifth in the main market of Yugoslav goods. The decline was evident in Yugoslav imports from Italy, as well as Germany’s rise in both. The German economic penetration was followed by the political one.