October 28 celebrations: Warships open to the public, museums and archaelogical sites are free

Nikos Foras warship October 28

As part of the celebration of the anniversary for Oxi Day, celeberated every October 28, the frigate Nikiforos Fokas, the fast guided missile patrol boat Ritsos and the submarine Papanikolis will sail to Piraeus on Friday.

During their stay in the port of Piraeus, the public will be given the opportunity to visit them from 09:00 to 19:00.

Children over 12 years old are allowed to enter the submarine.

At the same time, archaeological sites, monuments and museums open their doors to welcome the public with free entry.

As has been the case based on a decision of the Ministry of Culture in recent years, entry to museums belonging to the State, as well as archaeological sites, are free for all visitors.

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 3am 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”!

READ MORE: October 24, 1909: Greece purchases the Georgios Averof warship.