Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called for a more subdued celebration of the anniversary of the bloody 1973 student uprising that helped topple Greece’s then-military junta to protect public health amid a spike in coronavirus infections.
Instead of the customary march to the US Embassy, Mitsotakis invited the country’s political leadership to jointly mark the anniversary with a simple visit to the memorial and a flower.
On Sunday, Greek police issued a four-day ban on gatherings of more than three people that will end the day after the commemoration of the Polytechnic uprising. Leftist parties vowed to defy the ban.
“We are freely choosing to restrict some of our rights to protect ourselves, those we love, and the common good,” Mitsotakis said on Monday.
“Because there can be no freedom without responsibility,” he said.
“This historic anniversary should not become a cause for division and human lives should be the subject of partisan experiments,” he said, stressing that 71 people had died of Covid-19 in the country’s hospitals on Sunday.