The National Day of Greece is celebrated on March 25 with a lot of pride by the Greeks all over the world. With the Annunciation Day, the Hellenic people marks the freeing from the Ottoman occupation and honours with dignity and respect their past and history, but it also looks with optimism and hope at the future.
This year, the National Day finds the country with a new government and with a new prime-minister, Alexis Tsipras. With a different rhetoric to his partners in Europe, with ambitious objective regarding the removal of the country from the suffocating and burdening austerity it has been in for several years, but also the promotion of financial stability for economic recovery.
“We have seen clearly that Europe can make changes when political will exists: roadblocks can be overcome, new alternatives to growth can be found; the common future of European people can be made a priority,” Greek PM Alexis Tsipras said in a recent speech in front of his Cabinet. “We have shown that austerity is not the only option for Greece and for Europe. That an alternative policy exists for Greece and for Europe,” the Hellenic PM added
Regarding the official National Day celebrations in Greece this year, they will be different too.
Completely different from what Athenians have seen so far will be this year’s military parade in celebration of the Greek Independence Day on March 25. The first parade to take place under the leftist SYRIZA-led government will remind nothing of the ones organized in previous years, since the honorary parade will be combined with various parallel events, including traditional Greek songs and dances in the Greek capital’s downtown Syntagma Square, greekreporter.com announces.
According to National Defense Minister quoted by greekreporter.com the celebrations will have the character of a popular event. Last week, the Greek National Defense Minister said the parade will include two National Guard battalions from the border region of Evros and the Dodecanese islands. Flights of Armed Forces aircraft and helicopters are part of the staff training program and as such, they will not burden the budget, he explained. The three military bands will remain at the Square after the parade and play Greek folk songs. At the same time, dance clubs from across Greece, dressed in traditional clothes, will also take part in the big celebration. Earlier, Greek flags will be handed to the crowd who will be mixed with state and army officials, as no railings nor an elevated platform for officials will be installed.
The military parades in the Syntagma Square or the various other events and concerts organised in every corner of the country will, as usually, bring the Greeks into the street to celebrate their National Day with greatest joy, in their characteristic style, the way they only know how to do it, but will definitely also attract the tourists who, at any time of the year, not just during the traditional holiday season, are drawn like by a magnet to this fascinating country, with some of the most beautiful and interesting culture and traditions in the world. But also by the unmatched hospitality of the Greeks, a fantastically friendly and welcoming people, who manages to make any tourist, from any country of the world, to say a full-hearted “Efharisto” (Greek word for “Thank you”) when leaving.
I, too, have been a visitor to Greece on several occasions and, like anyone who has reached that land at least once, I can say that each and every experience is cherished in my heart and that I would very much like to go back some time, whenever I can. The beauty of those charming, breath-taking landscapes, the friendship of locals in the visited areas, the unique and unmatched cuisine, but also the fact that the entire country looks like an outdoor museum full of vestiges of inestimable value for the universal cultural heritage are just some of the things explaining the fascination this country makes, attracting millions of tourists every year.
On a second thought, I personally have another reason to explain my particular fascination with Greece. I am born in Tulcea, a county that is a genuine ethnic jigsaw puzzle and which can be presented as a model region of harmonious inter-ethnic relations. Since childhood, with classmates from the Hellenic community (one of them born on the same day and same year as myself and who now lives in Greece), I have been able to come into contact with the traditions and values of those families with Hellenic roots. Since then, I have been fascinated with their way of being, traditions and values. This is how I have sought to know the Greeks also at their home.
As a matter of fact, the Hellenic community in Romania, but also the Romanian one in Greece have always acted as a catalyst in the relations of the two countries connected by history for centuries, but also by common regional, European and international interests.
Recently, Romania and Greece celebrated 135 years of diplomatic relations, however the two countries have a much longer history together and have always been tied by a human bridge represented by the Hellenic community in Romania and by the Romanians living in Greece.
In the 135 years, the Romanian-Greek bilateral relations have known a solid development, based on the shared history and common values of the two peoples, on the importance of the two countries in the region, on the dynamic political, economic and cultural cooperation.’
‘Currently, Romania and Greece have excellent bilateral relations, grounded both on their historic past with many confluence points and on cooperation in various other formats, at regional, European and international level,’ a press release of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows.