By Evie Andreou
Liturgies and school parades marked Ochi day on Tuesday, marking Greek resistance against the Axis powers during WWII when Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas rejected the ultimatum given by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on October 28, 1940, who had demanded the Axis Powers enter Greece to take up strategic positions.
In Nicosia, the liturgy was carried out in St John’s Cathedral in the presence of Archbishop Chrysostomos II, Education Minister Costas Kadis representing President Anastasiades and Greek Ambassador Vasilis Papaioannou.
WWII veterans, school and university students, scouts, refugee, cultural and sports associations paraded along Vyronos Avenue, outside the Greek Embassy, to marches played by the National Guard and police bands.
“We draw from the 1940 anniversary messages of fighting spirit, unity, courage and heroism. Messages which we are obliged to take into consideration today as Greek Cypriots in order to be able to continue our struggle for freedom and reunification of our country,” Kadis said in Nicosia.
Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides represented the government at the parade in Limassol, where the celebrations begun with a five-minute peal of church bells and the hoisting of the flag in Grigoris Afxentiou Square.
The liturgy was carried out at the Ayia Napa Cathedral in the presence of Amathounta Bishop Nicolaos, followed by laying of wreaths at the Heroes Monument in Heroon Square by officials, war veterans, parties and associations.
In the evening, a torchlight procession took place organised by the Girl Guides.
In Larnaca a morning peal of bells also took place and the flag was hoisted in Eleftheria Square by Larnaca mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis.
Paphos began celebrations on Monday with an event at the Markideio Theatre addressed by Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides.
Christodoulides said that only through national unity will we be able to achieve our goals and our main goal, the solution of the Cyprus problem.