Thus far neutral Italy has escaped the carnage engulfing Europe, but perhaps its days of peace are numbered. Today Antonio Salandra and Sidney Sonnino, the prime minister and foreign minister, break some big news to the Italian cabinet. They have been undertaking secret twin track negotiations with the Allies and with the Central Powers (as Germany and Austria-Hungary are known). The negotiations concern territory that Italy wants to take from Austria-Hungary. The Allies are offering Austro-Hungarian territory to Italy if it enters the war on their side. The Austro-Hungarians are grudgingly offering territory to buy Italian neutrality.
The cabinet approves this negotiating strategy. But Salandra and Sonnino are not entirely frank with their colleagues. They do not tell them that negotiations with the Allies are now at an advanced stage, with Italy on the brink of signing an agreement that will bring the country into the war against Austria-Hungary.
Antonio Salandra (Wikipedia)
Sidney Sonnino (Wikipedia)