A Jewish community leader in Thessaloniki yesterday repeated calls for Greece to declare a national memorial day to mark the German deportation and extermination of over 50,000 local Jews during World War II. The chairman of the northern city’s ancient Jewish community, David Saltiel, was speaking during a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the deportations, which were carried out between March and August 1943. Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos and Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos – who are both elected in Thessaloniki – attended the ceremony together with Minister for Macedonia and Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis, the mayor of Thessaloniki and the Israeli and US ambassadors. Sources say Foreign Minister George Papandreou is expected on Sunday to formally establish a day of remembrance for the WWII Jewish Holocaust. Some 55,000 people, representing 96 percent of Thessaloniki’s Jewish population, died in German concentration camps. Only 1,600 survived, some 50 of whom are still alive.