The October 28 national holiday, when Greeks celebrate their historic ‘NO’ to the ultimatum set by Italy’s Fascist regime in 1940 and their decision to go to war, was a day to both honour the sacrifices made in the past and to continue the struggle in defence of the values they had defended, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a message on Sunday.
“Alongside preserving historic memory we simultaneously assume our historic role: to fight today also, in the front lines of the battle against racism, bigotry and nationalism. To never see the ghost of fascism and totalitarianism live again in Europe,” he said.
“It is a day to remember and honour the heroic battle of our people to protect their sovereign rights to independence, freedom and peace,” Tsipras added, noting that Greeks in 1940 had stood up to the superior forces of invaders, saying ‘NO’ to fascism and Nazism.
“We honour the most glorious moment of modern Greek history,” the prime minister added, noting that Greece, both then and now, “found and finds itself on the right side of history, replying to hatred and violence with solidarity, to fear with hope and to the criminal ideology of fascism with greater tolerance and democracy for all citizens.”
“This is the legacy left to us by the heroes of 1940 and the national resistance, the legacy that will always be in the hearts of the Greek people,” he added.
On a diplomatic level, Tsipras said the Greek government had taken a series of steps to honour those that sacrificed themselves for the country, such as the agreement with Albania for the burial of those fallen on the Albanian front and by setting up a parliamentary committee to examine the issue of German war reparations.