Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The "No" Day

This weekend has been very eventful in Thessaloniki. Except from the celebration of 100 years of Independence from the Turks, yesterday, on the 28th of October, the whole of Greece celebrated the "NO" Day(Η Μέρα του Οχι").

As a foreigner you might ask yourself why would a whole nation celebrate a negation but it might make a bit more sense once you know where it comes from.

In the early morning of October 28t 1940, the Greek Prime Minister, Ioannis Metaxas received an ultimatum from of the Italian Ambassador in Greece, Emanuele Grazzi. The ultimatum demanded Greece to allow Axis forces free passage and the occupation of certain unspecified strategic locations or else, face immediate military repercussions.

Allegedly, the answer of the Greek Prime mister was a laconic "Oxi"("no") in reality his answer was "Alors, c'est la guerre" ("Then it's war"). A couple of hours later, the Italian troops stationed at the Albanian border entered Greece and launched a full scale attack. 

No one expected Greece to resist not to mention fight back and yet by mid December 1940 Greek army pushed the Axis forces back to the border and even recovered some Albanian territories.
This was the first Allied victory in the Second World War and the first ray of hope.

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