Greece–Italy relations

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Greek-Italian relations
Map indicating locations of Greece and Italy



Greece and Italy enjoy strong bilateral relations. They cooperate in many fields and share common political views about the Balkans, the region and the world, with Italy being a major trading partner of Greece, both in exports and imports.

Greece and Italy are leading supporters of the integration of all the Balkan states to the Euro-Atlantic family, and promoted "Agenda 2014", proposed by the Greek Government in 2004 as part of the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Thessaloniki, to integrate the Western Balkan states into the European Union by the year 2014, when Greece and Italy assumed the rotating Presidency of the European Union for the first and second halves of 2014, respectively.

Greece and Italy also cooperate in multilateral organizations; both are members of the EU, NATO, and the UN, and both participate in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, World Trade Organization, and the Union for the Mediterranean and other organizations.


Greek and Italian volunteers in the Greco-Turkish War in 1897.

Soon after unification of Italy in 1861, Greece (which had gained its independence in 1832) and Italy established diplomatic relations.

Shortly after the Dodecanese islands gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, Italy occupied them as the Italian Islands of the Aegean. Starting in 1936, the Italian administration pursued a policy of Italianization.

In 1923, in the Corfu incident, Italy occupied Corfu for a month.

Italy, an Axis power, invade Greece in the Greco-Italian War of 1940-41, but it was only with German intervention that the Axis succeeded in controlling Greece. Italian forces were part of the Axis occupation of Greece.

Diplomatic missions[edit]

Greece has an embassy in Rome, general consulates in Milan and Naples, a consulate in Venice, and honorary consulates in Trieste (General), Turin (General), Ancona, Catania, Livorno, Bari, Bologna, Brindisi, Florence, Palermo, Perugia, and a Port Consulate in Genova.

Italy has an embassy in Athens, and honorary consulates in Alexandroupoli, Kefalonia, Chania, Chios, Corfu, Corinth, Ioannina, Heraklion, Kavala, Larissa, Patras, Rhodes, Thessaloniki, Santorini, and Volos.

Bilateral relations & cooperation[edit]

Foreign Minister of Italy Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata and Foreign Minister of Greece Dimitris Avramopoulos in Rome in August 2012
Greece–Italy pipeline. A map showing the approximate locations of natural gas pipelines through Greece to Italy

Both countries are full members of many international organizations, including NATO, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the OECD and the . Greece is one of Italy's main economic partners and they co-operate in many fields, including judicial, scientific and educational, and on the development of tourisman important sector in both countries. There are regular high-level visits between the two countries,[1] such as the visit of the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to Italy in July 2014,[2][3] and there are frequent contacts between the two countries ministries and agencies on various matters concerning individual sectors. Projects currently in running between the two countries include the Greece–Italy pipeline (which is part of the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline (ITGI)), and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

Ethnic minorities[edit]

Greeks have lived in southern Italy for centuries, and are called Griko. There are Italians in Corfu.

Una faccia una razza[edit]

The phrase Italian: Una Faccia Una Razza or Greek: Μια Φάτσα Μια Ράτσα (lit. 'one face, one race') is often used to describe the cultural closeness of the two peoples.[4][5]


  • Economic Cooperation (1949)
  • Avoidance of double Taxation (1964)
  • Delimitation of Continental Shelf Boundaries (1977)
  • Protection of the Ionian Sea Marine Environment (1979)
  • Cooperation against Terrorism, Organised Crime, and Drug Trafficking (1986)

Notable Visits[edit]

  • January 2006; State Visit of President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Karolos Papoulias to Rome.
  • December 2006; Visit of the Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi to Athens.
  • March 2007; Official Visit of Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis to Rome.
  • August 2007; Meeting of Greek Foreign Minister with Italian counterpart Massimo D'Alema in Rome.
  • September 2008; State visit of President of the Italian Republic Mr. Giorgio Napolitano to Athens.
  • August 2012; Visit of the Greek Prime Minister Mr. Antonis Samaras to Rome.
  • September 2012; Visit of President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Karolos Papoulias to Italy.


The Italian port cities of Bari, Brindisi, Ancona, Venice and Triest in the Adriatic Sea's Italian coast are connected in an every day basis via passenger Ferries and Freight Ferries, with the Greek port cities of Corfu, Patra, Igoumenitsa and Kalamata, allowing for better transport times by skipping the Balkan peninsula.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]