Greek army soldiers take part in the Independence Day parade in Athens, Greece, on March 25, 2017. Greece commemorated on Saturday the 196th anniversary of the 1821 war of independence against the 400-year Ottoman rule with the annual military parade in the center of Athens and student parades across the country. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
ATHENS, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Greece commemorated on Saturday the 196th anniversary of the 1821 war of independence against the 400-year Ottoman rule with the annual military parade in the center of Athens and student parades across the country.
In their statements for the day Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos and opposition parties referred to Greece's efforts for Europe's unity and the current challenges to overcome the economic crisis.
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Pavlopoulos stressed Greece's European path and the need for unity.
"Our ancestors, just before the start of the revolution, appealed to the European nations for freedom. We send them today the message that Greece has decided irrevocably to belong to the EU and its hardcore, the Eurozone," Pavlopoulos said after the end of the military parade in front of the parliament.
"For Greece to be outside Europe is inconceivable, while the EU would never be the same without Greece," he added.
Thousands of Greek citizens attended the celebrations of the Independence Day in the center of Athens commemorating war heroes and waving Greek national flags during the military parade.
In front of the Tomb of the Unknown Hero, mechanized units and foot soldiers marched, while flights of Armed Forces aircrafts and helicopters flashed above the crowd.
"The celebration of March 25 anniversary means a lot of things for all the Greeks," Dimitris from the southern Greece city of Kalamata who attended for the first time the military parade in Athens told Xinhua.