Greek, Italian presidents in Thessaloniki as Greece marks entry into WWII


As students marched in front of Parliament on Sunday in an annual school parade marking the country's refusal to capitulate to an Italian ultimatum on October 28,1940, and its entry into World War II, the presidents of the two countries were in Thessaloniki.

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, were among dozens of dignitaries attending the military parade in the northern Greek city.

They are then set to travel to Cephalonia to honor the Italian soldiers of the Acqui Division who were executed by German troops on the Ionian island in September 1943, following the Italian armistice.

Reports last week suggested that the Italian president will be making a formal apology for the suffering of the Greek people during the war, on the occasion of his one-day visit to the country.

Several groups, meanwhile, were staging protest rallies on the sidelines of the military parade in northern port city to protest Greece's name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.