A new “No” by the Greek people

The 28th of October is the Greek National day of the “No” that the country replied to Mussolini’s demand to occupy the country’s ports in order to get the Italian army to Africa, in 1940. The story goes that the Greek army defeated Mussolini’s forces and then in 1941 Nazi forces invaded, conquered and occupied Greece until 1944 when a broad armed resistance movement (the biggest in Europe) managed to overthrow the Nazis and free the country, as part of the broader strategy against the Nazis by the allied forces. Every year that “No” is celebrated with military and student parades in all Greek cities. But today something extraordinary happened. All over Greece the parades were either canceled by the people who protested, or turned into demonstrations. In Thessaloniki the second biggest city in the country the President of the Greek republic, Karolos Papoulias escorted by a delegation of top governmental and military officials, had to flee because of the anger of the people. In Athens students marched in front of the minister of education and a delegation of high military and religious officials, turning their heads towards the other side so that they don’t face them – a symbolic action of disgrace. In Kalamata, a small city in the south of Peloponese, the people invaded the parade and forced the politicians to escape from the back. In Rethymno, a city on the island of Crete people protested before the military only to receive a big applause by the participants in the celebrations. A few days ago al over the internet a campaign was spread under the slogan “OHI” meaning “NO”. The Greeks do not welcome the news of the agreement European leaders reached on Wednesday in Brussels cutting the Greek debt by 50%. Instead they fear that it will signal more austerity and deprivation affecting even greater parts of the population. Greeks feel that democracy is canceled now and the country is “occupied” by the IMF the ECB and the European Commission under the authority of the Germans and turned into a protectorate. They are not wrong. The UN’s Human Rights, high commisioner issued a warning to the Troika, that further austerity might violate the basic human rights of the Greek people, while the NGO “Doctors of the world” reports that Greece presents now all the conditions of what should be called as a humanitarian crisis! Overall, Greece is entering a crucial phase where the economic trouble is taking a new shape and probably a far more dangerous one. This is becoming now a political and National crisis.

Matthaios Tsimitakis

You can see a collection of videos of the events of the 28th of October, here

2 responses to “A new “No” by the Greek people

  1. Pingback: Greece: Anti-Austerity Protests Disrupt Ochi Day Parades · Global Voices·

  2. Pingback: Ελλάδα: Διαμαρτυρίες κατά της λιτότητας διαταράσσουν παρελάσεις κατά την Επέτειο του Όχι · Global Voices στα Ελληνικά·

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