OXI Day - 80th Anniversary

This year’s OXI Day (pronounsed Ohi) anniversary marks 80 years since Greece rejected an ultimatum by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1940 to allow passage of Italian troops into Greece will be held without military and student parades, while ceremonies and the laying of wreaths will be held with a limited number of people for reasons of public health and in strict compliance with Covid-19 health regulations. According to the Greek Interior Ministry, the cancellation of the parades does not in any way devalue or reduce the tribute to the fighters and heroes of 1940 who led the Greek resistance "against fascism and nazism and the struggles of the peoples for democracy and human dignity." By rejecting Mussolini's ultimatum, being delivered at 03:00am, the Greco-Italian War began on 28th October 1940.

The Greek people gained fame around the world for their incredible courage and fierce resistance against the Italian 1940 and the later German 1941 invasions and also during the brutal years under Axis occupation.  Historical figures have long praised the Greeks for their strength and commitment to justice and freedom.  British Prime Minister Winston Churchil, famously praised the Greek people in a BBC speech during the early days of the Greco-Italian War, stating "Hence we will not say that Greeks fought like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks".  Greek PM Ioannis Metaxas' famous reply "Alors, c'est la guerre" (Well then, it is war) was in the French diplomatic language of the time, is now observed in the annual celebration throughout Greece in the simplified Greek newspaper headlines of 'OXI'.