Stelios Petsas, Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister and government spokesman, announced on Monday that the country’s traditional military and school parades on October 28th would not take place this year due to coronavirus concerns.
Although Greece’s virus numbers remain low compared to other European nations, Petsas stated that the risk of the further spread and transmission of Covid-19 is too high to allow for the parades.
The spokesman also noted that the current situation could change suddenly in Greece due to the insidious nature of the virus.
The annual parades held every October 28 in Greece and in nations of the Greek diaspora commemorate OXI Day, when Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas’ 1940 rejected Benito Mussolini’s ultimatum to allow Axis forces to invade strategic locations in Greece during the Second World War.
After the War, OXI Day became a national holiday in Greece and Cyprus. It is celebrated every year with military and school parades in both countries and throughout the Greek Diaspora.
Greece has seen an increase in cases of Covid-19 in late September early October, with a record 460 cases of the virus detected in the country last Friday.