« 前へ次へ »
point where it crosses the frontier of Thrace into Bulgaria. The new conditions in the Near East created by the Greek débacle led the Italian Government to proclaim the denunciation of Italo-Greek agreement of May 17, 1920, which provided for a settlement of the differences that had arisen between Greece and Italy regarding the Dodecanese Islands, a step which called forth a protest from the Government of Great Britain.
The inquiry into the causes of the Greek military débacle in Asia Minor and the search for its authors instituted by the Revolutionary Committee on its advent to power resulted in a number of new arrests of leading personalities. Thus, towards the end of October, the ex-King's brother, Prince Andrew, was arrested at Corfu on the charge of having disobeyed the orders of his military chiefs while commanding an army corps on the Front. MM. Kalogeropoulos, ex-Premier, Baltadjis, ex-Foreign Minister, General Hadjianestis, ex-Commander-in-Chief, and others were also subsequently charged with high treason and imprisoned. On November 20 a Conference of representatives of the Allies, Turkey, and Greece was opened at Lausanne for the purpose of the revision of the Sèvres Treaty and the final settlement of the Near Eastern problem. At the opening stages of the Conference, Greece was represented by M. Venezelos.
Little was heard of Greek internal affairs in the meantime, the attention of the whole nation being centred on M. Venezelos' efforts abroad to procure a settlement which should be as painless as possible for his country. The first Cabinet formed under the régime of the Revolutionary Committee (which had established itself as the real master of Greece with King George II. merely as a figure head) underwent several slight changes, the chief of which was caused by the refusal of M. Zaimis to retain the premiership (which remained vacant, with M. Krokidas as acting Premier), and after having been in power for less than two months resigned on November 24, chiefly owing to internal differences arising from the trial of the ex-Ministers, Statesmen, and military leaders by a Revolutionary tribunal on the charges of high treason. The British Government, through its Minister in Athens, Mr. Lindley, urged that the accused should be treated leniently. While certain members of the Cabinet were prepared to accept the British suggestion, the more irreconcilable elements refused to submit to what they considered as foreign intervention in Greek internal affairs, and the Cabinet accordingly resigned, and was replaced by one composed exclusively of members of the Revolutionary Committee and of the Republican Group which formed the Committee's most active supporters. Colonel Gonatas, one of the leaders of the Revolutionary Committee, was appointed Premier, and M. Constantine Rentis, one of the leaders of the Republican Group, as acting Minister for Foreign Affairs. On November 27 the trial by the Revolutionary Court Martial of the ex-Ministers and military leaders was concluded. Six of the accused — MM. Gounaris, Theotokis, Baltadjis, Stratos, and Protopapadakis and General Hadjianestis-were sentenced to death and executed the next morning, while Admiral Goudas and General Stratigos were sentenced to imprisonment for life. Following the execution of M. Gounaris and his companions the British Government instructed the British Minister at Athens to ask for his passports and leave Greece; nor had diplomatic relations between the two countries been renewed by the end of the year. Shortly after the execution of the six Ministers the ex-King's brother Prince Andrew was tried by the same Tribunal and sentenced to banishment for life from Greece. The Prince and his family left Greece on December 4 for London.
Thus year 1922 closed for Greece in the most inauspicious circumstances with the question of a peace settlement which should enable the country to devote its forces to peaceful reconstruction still in abeyance, and internal dissatisfaction and unrest steadily increasing. One marked result of this discontent is a noticeable growth of Republican sentiment which seems to be paving the way for important developments in the near future.
ALBANIA. The year opened with a certain restlessness in the governing authority of Albania. Numerous changes took place in the personnel of the Government, and this appeared to indicate the existence of dissatisfaction somewhere. On March 8, a revolt against the Government broke out; Elez Jussorf, of Dibsa, with 300 followers entered Tirana and entrenched himself in the town. Three days later fighting took place in the streets of the capital, and but for the friendly intervention of Mr. Harry Eyres, the British Minister, might have led to serious consequences. The mediation of Mr. Eyres was accepted, and on March 11 Jussorf submitted and withdrew. In consequence of this insurrection, stern measures were adopted in the mountain regions. The population was disarmed and military recruiting was put into force.
Among other important events of the year must be mentioned the Conference of Christians at Berat, where it was decided that the Orthodox Church of Albania was entirely independent of the Patriarchate. The separation was ultimately ratified by the Patriarch.
During the year the International Commission to settle the frontiers of Albania was able to record some progress. Difficulties arose on the Albanian-Greek frontier, and this was left for subsequent delimitation. The relations of the country with foreign powers were being gradually established on a friendly basis. Diplomatic representatives were exchanged with several countries, including Great Britain, to which Mehmed
Konitza was accredited in March. In the same month Albania joined the Universal Postal Union.
In internal affairs the year 1922 was marked by a crisis in party politics which had unfortunate results. Throughout the year the Government was hampered and its energies wasted by internal dissensions. One of the most important events of the year was the formation, in the month of February, of the “constitutional bloc" of the three opposition parties of the Right (the Democrats, the National-Progressists, and the Radicals) for the purpose of overthrowing the Government. As was to be expected this led to violent controversies in the press and at public meetings, which resulted in the arrest, on September 16, of the leaders of these three parties. It was said that as members of the former Guéchoff-Daneff and Malinoff-Kostourkoff Coalition Cabinets they were responsible for the disasters suffered by Bulgaria during the last ten years: the first disaster in 1913 as a consequence of the war against Turkey and subsequently against the other States of the Balkan league; and the second in 1918 owing to the failure of the Malinoff-Kostourkoff Cabinet, the successors of M. Radoslavoff, to conduct a separate peace. After the arrest of the leaders of the bloc, a referendum was held, on November 19, to consult the nation as to the guilt of the members of these two Coalition Cabinets. Thanks to the support of the Communist Party, which had decided to vote against the accused Ministers, the Government scored a victory on the question. The result is that at the end of the year the members of the so-called “war-cabinets,” 22 persons in all, with the exception of 9 who have fled the country, are in prison awaiting trial before a “National Court” consisting, as at present proposed, of 3 ordinary judges and 16 “national” judges, of whom 4 will be in reserve, chosen by lot from all departmental councillors of the country. A special law will shortly be passed by the Parliament for the legal procedure to be adopted and the constitution of the “National Court" for the trial of the accused Ministers.
Another internal event which created a sensation was the occupation of the town of Kustendil, on December 4, by a band of the Revolutionary Macedonian Organisation, numbering about one thousand men, the majority of whom came from Serbian Macedonia. This Organisation, which has its headquarters in Macedonia, near the Bulgarian frontier, is secret in character, and while its immediate purpose is to protect the Bulgarian population in this province against the excesses committed by the Serbian authorities, its final aim is to obtain the autonomy of Macedonia. The Organisation is of opinion that the present Bulgarian Government's policy of understanding with Yugo-Slavia prejudices the interests of the Bulgarian population in Macedonia ; it likewise believes that for the sake of this policy the friends of the Organisation in Bulgaria are persecuted and murdered, principally by men pretending to belong to another Macedonian organisation, called “Federalist,” who, it is alleged, enjoy the protection of the Government. Accordingly the “autonomist” organisation sent the band to Kustendil as a demonstration against the Government, and at the same time to punish their adversaries who were living in the town. After two days' stay in the town the band left. This episode somewhat embarrassed the Government, especially as it came at a moment when Bulgaria was pleading at Lausanne for favourable consideration. But in the country itself the incident passed without any serious results.
The international situation of Bulgaria during the past year was also unfavourable. Bulgaria continued to be isolated almost as much as she was in the preceding years; she was regarded, especially by her neighbours, with the same suspicion and the same animosity as before. The dawn of 1922 found Bulgaria awaiting the solution of numerous questions, such as the outlet on the Ægean Sea promised by the Treaty of Neuilly, the protection of Bulgarian minorities left under the rule of other Balkan States, the improvement of the relations with all Powers, particularly with the smaller ones, reparations, and financial help from abroad.
The Government did its best to obtain a favourable solution of these vital questions, and the Prime Minister, M. Stamboliiski, more than once visited statesmen abroad to plead for their support. Unfortunately not a single one of these questions was solved. The Conferences of Geneva, The Hague, and the meeting of the League of Nations have not brought to Bulgaria the slightest improvement, and no great hope is entertained of the results of the Conference at Lausanne.
During the past twelve months the economic crisis continued, though the country had a relatively good harvest. Bulgaria experienced a trade slump, taxation rose as the expenditure of the State increased in consequence of the depreciation of the lev; money was dear, owing to the policy of the Government, which at the bidding of the Interallied Commission of Reparations checked inflation and speculation, and prices continued to rise.
In a note to the Interallied Commission for Bulgaria the Government set forth the real financial and economic situation of the country, and pleaded for a moratorium of five years. The Interallied Commission was impressed by the arguments put forward by the Government, and has agreed to a kind of moratorium of two years by reducing the annual payments, the first year to 10 million gold francs and the second to 30 millions, on condition that the revenues of the customs, the taxes on the mines, etc., should serve as pledges, and that the arrears should be added to the sum, fixed by the Treaty of Neuilly, of 24 milliards of gold francs, so that the total amount of the reparations was to be on January 1, 1924, 2,604,656,250 gold francs.
To these proposals also the Bulgarian Government demurred, pleading inability to carry them out and requesting a reconsideration of the position. At the end of the year the Allied Powers were in possession of a further Memorandum, the reply to which will not be available until 1923.
FIUME. When the year began the Zanella Government was in power in Fiume. But there were many forces in the new State that hoped for a union with Italy and rejected independence. Early in March they brought about the fall of Zanella, and called in Signor Giuriati to be head of the Provisional Government. This represented a victory for the Fascisti.
But the Italian Government made it clear that it would not countenance this solution of the Fiume problem, declaring that it stood by the Treaty of Rapallo. The attitude of the Government in Rome was appreciated by the Government in Belgrade, and what might have been a delicate situation was smoothed over. The declaration of the Italian Government also resulted in the withdrawal of Signor Giuriati. The Fascisti, however, were determined to have Giuriati at all costs; the Arditi were of another opinion. On March 16, led by Lieut. Cabruna, the Arditi stormed the Town Hall which they captured, and proclaimed themselves masters of the city. But they brought no peace, and before long there was a demand in Fiume for the recall of Signor Zanella. April and May were occupied by negotiations between the Governments of Italy and Yugo-Slavia, and by May 19 an agreement had been reached for the settlement of the status of Fiume satisfactory to both sides.
LESSER STATES OF WESTERN AND NORTHERN EUROPE : BELGIUM
POLITICALLY, the year 1922 in Belgium was uneventful both in internal and external affairs. There were no elections and only one change in the Ministry, when in October M. Hubert resigned from the Ministry of Science and Arts, and was succeeded by M. Leclere, Rector of the University of Brussels. Owing to severe illness, M. Leclere resigned his post, and on November 8, Dr. Nolf, a Professor at Liege University, was appointed in his stead. Dr. Nolf had to handle the problem which in the realm of culture saw the gradual coming to a head of the bitter