Friday, 18 Jan 2019

Greek and Italian presidents attend commemorative parade of World War II

THESSALONIKI, Greece – Italian President Sergio Mattarella attended Sunday's annual military parade commemorating his entry into the Second World War – against Italy.

Mattarella participated in the Thessaloniki parade in northern Greece at the invitation of Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who then welcomed the presence of his counterpart.

"We leave behind us what divided us. We are determined to defend Europe against (…) the forces of populism and racism, close to Nazism, who want to destroy Europe, "Pavlopoulos said. "(We are) determined never to allow the awakening of the nightmares that led to the Second World War."

On October 28, 1940, Italy invaded Greece from neighboring Albania it occupied the previous year. The Italians hoped for a quick lead but were quickly pushed back to Albania by the Greeks. The front stabilized in December and a major Italian spring offensive failed, pushing Germany to invade and occupy Greece and Yugoslavia in April 1941.

The two presidents will travel later Sunday to the island of Kefalonia, in the west of Greece, place of the massacre of an Italian division by the Germans in September 1943, after the l '. Italy went to the Allies.

Greek police on Sunday dismissed a small group of protesters who wanted to demonstrate and protest against the name change agreement signed in July by Greece and Macedonia, ending a long-standing dispute over the name of Macedonia.

Some reserve units participating in the parade shouted "Macedonia is Greek!" Passing the VIP booth.

Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, is the capital of the Greek province of Macedonia. Greece has long been opposed to its northern neighbor being named Macedonia on the grounds that the name implied land claims over the Greek province, in addition to being an appropriation of the history and symbols of the country. Greece.

Macedonia is considering changing its name to North Macedonia in order to finally overcome Greece's objections and join NATO.


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