(also spelled Ochi Day
, Epeteios tou "'Ohi"
, Anniversary of the "No") is celebrated throughout Greece
and the Greek
communities around the world on October 28 each year, to commemorate Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas
' (in power from August 4, 1936, until January 29, 1941) rejection of the ultimatum
made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini
on October 28, 1940.
The Italian ultimatum
This ultimatum, which was presented to Metaxas by the Italian ambassador in Greece, Emanuele Grazzi
, on October 28, 1940, at dawn (04:00 am), after a party in the German embassy in Athens
, demanded that Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified "strategic locations" or otherwise face war. It was allegedly answered with a single laconic
(No!) However, his actual reply was, Alors, c'est la guerre
(Then it is war).
In response to Metaxas's refusal, Italian troops stationed in Albania
, then an Italian protectorate
, attacked the Greek border at 05:30 am--the beginning of Greece's participation in World War II
(see Greco-Italian War
and the Battle of Greece
On the morning of October 28 the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting 'ohi'. From 1942, it was celebrated as Ohi Day.
During the war, October 28 was commemorated yearly by Greek communities around the world and in Greece and Cyprus, and after World War II it became a public holiday
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