Greece marks Independence Day anniversary, highlights unity and Cyprus crisis

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-3-25 20:28:48

Greece commemorated on Monday the 192nd anniversary of its Independence Day which marks the start of the Greek revolution against Ottoman rule, with nationwide customary military and student parades and messages of confidence over the outcome of the current struggle to exit the financial crisis.

Greek President Karolos Papoulias called on Greeks suffering from the acute crisis which forced the country to the brink of default and eroded living standards to unite to address the repercussions and look forward with optimism, as their ancestors did in 1821.

"They are an example in these difficult moments," he said after attending the main military parade was held outside the parliament building in central Athens.

As Greece's neighbor Cyprus struggles to face a similar crisis over the past ten days which ended in a deal in Brussels in the early hours of Monday on an EU/International Monetary Fund bailout aid package to avert a Cypriot chaotic bankruptcy and a possible euro exit, Papoulias expressed Greece's solidarity with the island country.

"Our thoughts are with Cyprus. The EU's decision is not acceptable, because it is selective. The EU must not choose its victims in a selective way, because this creates a gap among European peoples. I wish today's message will reach all European capitals, in particular Berlin," he stressed, criticizing the stance of some European counterparts in the management of the crisis.

"History's lessons show that we can overcome challenges as long as we remain united and maintain our national and social cohesion," Greek Defense Minister Panos Panayotopoulos added, representing the government in the military parade.

Streets surrounding the parliament had been cordoned off for fear of protests by anti-austerity activists who have marred similar events in the past.

However, the burden of austerity was still obvious in the lack of displays of tanks and flyovers by military aircraft.

Since the start of the debt crisis in 2010, Greece has introduced major spending cuts in return of bailout rescue loans to slash deficits and return to growth.

Posted in: Economy

blog comments powered by Disqus