Greek, Italian presidents attend October 28 military parade

The great ‘NO’ uttered by Greece on October 28, 1940 remains forever current and must inspire the struggle to defend the European edifice against those ‘nostalgic’ for Fascism and Nazism, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos said on Sunday in Thessaloniki, where he attended the October 28 military parade with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella.

“History has proven, with irresistible evidence, that the great ‘NO’ of the Greek people on October 28, 1940 was – and still remains, on extremely instructive and current terms – a great ‘YES’ to freedom and democracy. And it is precisely this instructive topicality that must inspire us, above all, in the struggle to defend the European edifice against the extremely dangerous conglomerations of racist populism that undermine, openly and directly, its foundations and its global mission,” Pavlopoulos said after the parade.

Mattarella’s presence in Thessaloniki on Sunday was a supreme symbol of this struggle to defend Europe, he added, indicating that Greece and Italy are “leaving behind those things that divided us in the past but, having learned from the bitter experience of Fascism and its criminal collaboration with Nazism, we are stating our determination to fight against all such formations,” he added.

As always on October 28, a grand military parade was held in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, where once again the air show by the Hellenic Air Force was the highlight of the day, with an F-16 fighter jet from the ‘Zeus’ team performing a display of precision aeronautics above the parade.

After concluding his display, the pilot sent his own message from within the aircraft, saying: “Good morning Thessaloniki, good morning Macedonia. The NO of the Greeks is a source of unity and cooperation, as is shown by the presence of the President of Italy. Let us look to the future with hope and optimism.”

After the parade, Pavlopoulos greeted the descendants of WWII veterans and Mattarella spoke with a group of five Italian soldiers.