Austria had persistently adopted a policy of pin-pricks and aggravating police provocation towards the Italians of the Adriatic Littoral and of the Trentino, while encouraging the Slavonic element in the former and the Germans in the latter.
The AustroGerman-Italian triple alliance was a dire blow to his expectations, and Crispi's policy with its irritating and galling pin-pricks caused the cup to overflow.
The unusually outspoken and pointed expression, however, of his disinclination to submit to Muscovite duplicity or to "pin-pricks" or "unmannerliness" from France was criticized on the score of discretion by a wider circle than that of his political adversaries.
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