Government and SYRIZA clash over ‘Ochi’ Day parades

New Democracy and PASOK accused SYRIZA on Friday of trying to use the events planned for Monday to mark Greece’s entry into the Second World War as an opportunity to “overthrow the government.”

A military parade is planned in Thessaloniki and a student parade in Athens to mark the day in 1940 when Greece refused to allow the Italian army to enter the country unopposed. It is known as “Ochi” (No) Day in Greece and SYRIZA suggested in a statement that Greeks should use Monday’s events as an opportunity to reject the government’s austerity policy and neofasict Golden Dawn.

“At this year’s anniversary, people will express their ‘no’ in a peaceful way – no to the policy of the memorandum, no to the hateful pronouncements of those who pine for fascism,” the leftist party said in a statement. “We must immediately stop the disaster being experienced by most of society. We have to force out the government, the troika and the memorandum.”

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou (photo) said that SYRIZA’s statement was inflammatory and accused the party of trying to exploit a national anniversary and the presence of “schoolchildren and their parents” to “overthrow the government.”

PASOK accused SYRIZA of “saying no to the memorandum before it says no to fascism.”