This government’s duty is “to present the next generation with a stronger, more secure, more prosperous and more just homeland,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday from Ioannina, on the anniversary of “Ochi Day” or October 28, 1940.
Mitsotakis is on tour in Epirus, northwestern Greece. Following a parade in Ioannina (Yannena), the premier referred to Italy’s invasion in 1940 through neighboring Albania, after the Greek government rejected an ultimatum on October 28. “The heart of hellenism always beats a bit harder here, in Yannena, at Kalpaki, in Epirus, because 82 years ago we defended ourselves in an unprovoked attack, and the generation of ’40 carried out its duty to the homeland and to history.”
Earlier on Friday, Mitsotakis attended the official doxology at the city’s metropolitan church and laid a wreath at the monument of those who died in Bizani.
The premier was in the region since Thursday, when later in the day he attended a reconstruction of the Battle of Kalpaki at the Grabala heights. There he laid a wreath at the Fighter’s Memorial and lit a candle in memory of 167 soldiers whose bones are interred at the monument.
In statements at Kalpaki, Mitsotakis spoke of the unity of Greeks who came together to fight the invading Italians, providing a model of quick organization, collective action, and national unity before the enemy. Countries that raise their rhetoric threaten stability and collaboration, he said, and named Russia and Turkey as two countries that have flouted the law and challenged national borders.