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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-10-28

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM at EU summit, ESP meeting
  • [02] OCHI Day national anniversary celebrated throughout Greece with parades

  • [01] PM at EU summit, ESP meeting

    Prime minister George Papandreou was in Brussels on Thursday to take part in a meeting of European Socialist Party (ESP) leaders and European Union summit meeting. The ESP leaders are due to hold their meeting at noon on Thursday, while the two-day EU summit opens in the afternoon. Papandreou will give a press conference early Friday afternoon after completion of the summit talks.

    Papandreou will further meet at noon on Thursday with his FYROM counterpart Nikola Gruevski.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] OCHI Day national anniversary celebrated throughout Greece with parades

    (ANA-MPA) -- The October 28 national holiday was celebrated with parades throughout Greece on Thursday, with the main commemorations of the 70th anniversary of "Ochi" Day being the military parade in Thessaloniki and the pupils' parade in Athens.

    "We have the historic duty to secure for the young generation the right to a dignified life," President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias said in a message on the October 28, 1940 anniversary. The President of the Republic, who traditionally inspects the military parade in Thessaloniki on Ochi Day, was absent this year due to a viral infection that forced him to cancel his visit to Thessaloniki.

    In his message, Papoulias noted that Greece "is at a critical turning point", and "crossing over is our duty to today's 18-year-olds who are beginning their journey with the weight of the debt on their shoulders and are called on to pay a bill for which they have no blame".

    "The faster we rid ourselves of this burden, the faster the collective conscience will ease," he added.

    The October 28 "Ochi Day" national holiday, commemorating the anniversary of Greece's resounding "Ochi" (no) to then Italian dictator Mussolini's demand for free passage to invade Greece during World War II, which brought Greece into the war on the Allied side, was also celebrated throughout the rest of the country with students' parades. On Oct. 28, 1940, fascist Italy presented Greece with the ultimatum, but Greek leader Ioannis Metaxas tersely refused, and the country not only denied Mussolini's forces free passage, it went on the offensive in mid-November and drove the opposing forces back through part of southern Albania.

    The Thessaloniki parade was also attended by political party representatives, the Armed Forces leadership, MPs, and foreign diplomats.

    Messages

    In a message on the anniversary, prime minister George Papandreou drew a comparison between Greece's "resounding OCHI to subjugation to the Axis forces, which led to war" with "today when Greece is once again waging a difficult battle", stressing that "we are already starting to win this battle too, with hard work, sacrifices and great difficulties".

    The premier expressed his conviction that "as in every critical time in hour history, we will succeed today as well".

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, in his own message, said that "in this difficult period of economic crisis, we are inspired by the example" of the events being commemorated.

    "We can take the country out of today's gloom and ensure a new prospect of recovery and hope," Samaras concluded.

    Parliament president Philippos Petsalnikos said that in today's period of generalised crisis "we are called on to act together, making every possible effort for an exit from the difficult situation our country is in".

    "We truly have difficult battles to wage. However, if we wage them together, we will emerge stronger from the present crisis," he added.

    In a message, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said that 70 years after the historic OCHI, "the modern-day content of patriotism identifies with the organisation and battle of the working class and popular strata for the bankruptcy of the plutocracy, and not the people, for the popular alliance, in order to pave the way for popular authority".

    The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYN), in a message, said that every era requires its own OCHI. "Today, we say OCHI to every kind of intervention, to the dissolution of the social state, to the razing of labor relations, to the Memorandum of social and economic bankruptcy, to racism and xenophobia, to the ecological destruction of the planet."

    Defence minister Evangelos Venizelos, who represented the government at the Thessaloniki parade, said that the crisis is an opportunity and that, "through political stability, social cohesion and national unity, we will succeed and we will win the wager".

    "Today, we honor and celebrate the Greece that deserves to be proud, the Greece that has proven historically that it knows what national sovereignty and national dignity is," he said, adding that such anniversaries "also teach us, the present-day Greeks, and demand of us to be united, responsible and forward-looking."

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) MP Kyriakos Velopoulos, speaking after the parade, expressed conviction that "today, united, we can win this different 'war''.

    (Photo: ANA-MPA/S. Rapanis)

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form


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