The student parade scheduled in Thessaloniki on Wednesday to commemorate Oxi Day is cancelled due to the national day of mourning for the death of Movement for Change (KINAL) party leader Fofi Gennimata, the Ministry of Interior announced on Monday.
Military and student parades scheduled national on the actual historic day on Thursday, October 28 will be carried out as scheduled, it was added.
It was first reported that only a military parade will be held in Thessaloniki due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this received significant backlash.
OXI Day on October 28, 1940, commemorates the anniversary when former military general and Prime Minister of Greece Ioannis Metaxas said: “OXI” (NO) to an ultimatum made by Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, an ally of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
It is said that at 3 am on October 28, 1940, an ultimatum was handed to Ioannis Metaxas at his home in Kifissia by the Italian Ambassador of Athens, Emanuele Grazzi.
The ultimatum required the free passage of the Italian army through the Greek-Albanian border and thus began the occupation of some strategic areas of Greece.
After reading the letter, Metaxas turned to the Italian Ambassador and replied in French (which was the official diplomatic language at the time) with the historic phrase: ‘Alors, c’est la guerre’ (Well, this means war), taking his stance against Italian demands.
At the time, Metaxas expressed Greek popular sentiment, which was the denial of allegiance.
This refusal was passed through to the Greek press with the word ‘Oxi’ (No).
The word ‘Oxi’ was first presented as a title in the main article of the newspaper ‘Greek Future’ of N. P. Efstratios on October 30, 1940. Locals all over Athens ran through the streets yelling “OXI”!