Greece celebrates bicentennial of Greek Revolution
To mark the 200th anniversary of the start of the Greek War of Independence against Ottoman rule on 25 March 1821, a military parade is to take place in the centre of Athens, with representatives of the then partner countries Russia, France and the UK in attendance. The general public is banned from attending due to the pandemic. Some commentators see the celebrations as excessive while others say more should be done to mark the date.
While patients die across the way
Celebrating the anniversary with pomp and parades is grotesque in these tragic times, writes journalist Marios Dionellis bitterly on his website:
“The Evzones [presidential guards] and their horses will parade past the Evangelismos hospital, where intubated patients are dying outside the intensive care units. Forcibly recruited doctors will have to try to patch up the deficits the [newly purchased] Rafale fighter jets have left in the healthcare system while they tear through the skies of Attica, and the nurses will occupy missing posts in their minds as they count the men of the special police guard marching past their windows. At a time when the country is sinking into despair, [the government] wants to fill us to the brim with national pride by inviting Charles and Camilla.”
Key national holiday being demoted
The left-wing weekly Dromos tis Aristeras criticises the fact that the EU summit at which Greek-Turkish relations are to be discussed is scheduled to begin on the same day:
“Athens made no attempt to postpone this summit for a day or two. Firstly because politicians aren't interested in national affairs. Secondly because they don't attach any importance to the symbolism behind 'coincidences' such as the start of the summit on that date. They are playing down and even mocking the significance of the national holiday in general and this biennial in particular. ... So as not to spoil the 'good atmosphere' of the discussion and exploratory talks with Turkey. ”