Oxi Day (sometimes spelt Ohi or Ochi) is a national public holiday and commemorated on the 28thOctober every year in Greece and Cyprus.
On this day 77 years ago, the Prime Minister of Greece, Ioannis Metaxas denied Benito Mussolini’s request to allow Italian troops to cross the border into Greece.He responded to the Italian ultimatum in French, the diplomatic language at the time, “Alors, c’est la gueree!” or “Then it is War!”.
On the morning of the 28th October 1940, the Greek population took to the streets shouting “Oxi!”. It is a day that represents bravery, solidarity and heroism for millions of Greeks.Although Greece had tried hard to remain neutral in the early days of World War II, it was at this time it became allied with Great Britain. The Greek Army turned out to be a formidable force, holding back the Axis and Nazis troop forces from entering Greece for almost six months.
Winston Churchill commented at the time of the Greco-Italian war and famously said,… “Hence we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that Heroes fight like Greeks.”