From the Corriere della Sera, April 12.
The article in the Stampa, which appears ultra-nationalist, is in reality purely neutralist. Italian aspirations must be kept within reasonable bounds. What would happen to Italy if demands were put forward which the Entente could not entertain? Quite apart from questions of direct interest and gain, other factors must be taken into account. There is the danger to Italy in case of the success of her late allies, which would mean the prostration of France, the annexation of Belgium to Germany, the arrival of Austria at Saloniki, British naval hegemony replaced by German, the revival of Turkey, and the consequent ambition to resume possession of lost territories.
From the Politika of Belgrade, March 30.
Italy is claiming not only Italian territories which are under Austro-Hungarian domination, but also a very considerable part of the most purely southern Slav regions. Italy will have to realize one simple fact. Until this war Serbia was closed in on all sides by Austria-Hungary. She therefore asked that Europe should secure for her from Austria-Hungary at least a free outlet to the Adriatic, the price of which she had already paid in blood.
The two Balkan wars were waged primarily for the same thing, since they were wars of liberation. Today it is no longer a question of the economic independence of Serbia, since Austria-Hungary is passing from the scene, but it is a matter of the liberation and of the union into a single State of our race as a whole. This is the idea which at this moment governs the masses of our people, and the numberless graves of our fallen heroes testify to the sacrifice which we have made for the sake of this idea. Whoever, therefore, opposes our national union is an enemy of our race.
Deeply as it would pain Serbia to uproot out of her heart the sympathy which she feels for Italy, she will none the less do so without fail if ever it should become manifest that Italy’s present policy signifies that she desires not only to consolidate her legitimate interests, but also to encroach upon the Balkans by attacking Serbia.
From the Giornale d’Italia, April 4.
No one in Italy has ever said or thought that in the event of a bouleversement in the Adriatic and the Balkans there should be denied to Serbia or any Slav State which might arise from the ruins of Austria-Hungary a wide outlet to the Adriatic. But, on the other hand, no one in Italy could ever permit that the reversion of Austria’s strategic maritime position should fall into any hands but ours.
There are political and military considerations which are above any question of nationality whatever. It should be enough to cite the example of an England which holds a Spanish Gibraltar and an Italian Malta, besides a Greek Cyprus and the Egyptian Suez Canal. It should be enough to recall the claim made by all the press of Petrograd to establish Russia at Constantinople and on the banks of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, in spite of all the principles of nationality, Balkan or Turk.