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Italy–Spain relations refers to interstate relations between Italy and Spain. Both countries established diplomatic relations after the unification of Italy. Relations between Italy and Spain have remained strong and affable for centuries owing to various political, cultural, and historical connections between the two nations.
In 218 BC the Romans invaded the Iberian peninsula, which later became the Roman province of Hispania (which later evolved into "España", the Spanish word for Spain). The Romans introduced the Latin language, the ancestor of both modern-day Spanish and the Italian). The Iberian peninsula remained under Roman rule for over 600 years, until the collapse of the Western-Roman Empire.
Meanwhile fascism emerged in Spain, including its charismatic leader, José Antonio Primo de Rivera (1903-36), who believed that Italian Fascism, as personified by Mussolini, was the perfect model. After his execution by Spanish republican forces in 1936, Francisco Franco became the leader of the Falange Party, as well as chief of state and commander of the armed forces. He was not a charismatic fascist leader in the manner of Primo de Rivera or Mussolini, but he did come to personify the mission of the Falange. Franco did not allow the Falange to control his actions--rather he controlled it until his death in 1975. In 1936 Mussolini intervened on the side of Francisco Franco and the Spanish Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War, helping Franco win. The Corps of Volunteer Troops, a fascist expeditionary force from Italy, brought in about 75,000 Italians combat and support troops. During World War II, 1939 to 1943, Spanish-Italian ties were close, though Italy fought alongside Germany and Spain avoided that. After Mussolini fell in 1943, Italy was ripped apart in its own civil war, and Spain stayed away.
- Stanley G. Payne, "Franco, the Spanish Falange and the Institutionalisation of Mission." Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 7.2 (2006): 191-201.
- Stanley G. Payne, "Fascist Italy and Spain, 1922–45." Mediterranean Historical Review 13.1-2 (1998): 99-115. online
- Hierro Lecea, Pablo del (2015). Spanish-Italian Relations and the Influence of the Major Powers, 1943-1957. Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-349-49654-9.
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