Six tanks and one lonesome F-16 fighter jet will most likely take part at the National Parade on October 28th 2013, after Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos managed to find a sponsor who will pay for the fuel. Even though the amount of the donation has not revealed yet, the name of the generous sponsor is the Vardinoyiannis Group, the most powerful owner of Motor Oil Hellas.
The traditional participation of armored vehicles and airplanes to National OCHI Day parade was suspended in 2010, when the country got “rescued” by the International Monetary Fund and the rest of Greece’ lenders. Excluding the armored vehicles and the military aircraft had forced the cost of the military parade to drop from 1.3 million euro down to 350,000.
The cost of this year’s OCHI-parade to celebrate and commemorate the historical “NO” to German demand that the country surrenders to Hitler in 1940, has not been known yet as much will depends on the donation.
However Minister Avramopoulos has allegedly said that the cost could rise by 35,000 euro if a couple of armored vehicles (4-6) and one aircraft would participate.
Defense news portal onalert.gr reported that Dimitris Avramopoulos had insisted in the vehicles- and aircraft-participation despite objections by coalition government partner PASOK due to the economic crisis and the 1.4 million unemployed people.
However, Avramopoulos had allegedly argued “it’s better we say, we don’t want parades than miserable ones.”
And he is right. What’s the purpose of a military parade without the aircraft show and tanks? Display of … misery!
Avramopoulos: Heir to Nea Dimocratia throne?
I fully agree with Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, a former diplomat, a former party leader, a former major of Athens, a former Health and Foreign Minister.
We have been miserable for much too long due to the Troika-misery, with a PM (Papandreou) interested in training his muscles and a PM (Samaras) surrounded by conservative nationalists as advisers and close aides.
PM Antonis Samaras does not do things look any better. Introvert in parliament and ultra-conservative politically, he has brought Greeks upside down with his campaign “of the two extremes”. That is the effort to present the extreme-right Golden Dawn and the left-wing SYRIZA as the two sides of the same coin. After the handcuffs in GD leadership, some advisers of Samaras had even warned the main opposition party “It’s you, next!”.
In contrast, Dimitris Avramopoulos is a man of the world. A man with class and diplomatic experience. Commenting on the issue “of the two extremes” – or “two poles” in every day Greek, Avramopoulos said “Uh, SYRIZA is not a pole,” adding that “if we accept that the fourth institution in the country is extreme, then we must admit that we have political and constitutional anomaly.”
To tell you the truth I don’t exactly understand what Avramopoulos meant with “fourth institution” and SYRIZA, probably ‘the main opposition party’.
Anyway, Avramopoulos openly joined the front within Nea Dimocratia, the front of those opposing Samaras’ “extreme theory” that creates an atmosphere of a civil war and divides the Greek society. The prime minister had gone even so far to claim during his US visit that “extremists are also those supporting a Greek exit from the EU, the euro and the NATO.”
This and that made the center-right powers in Nea Dimocratia to proceed to leakages to the press, that “some in ND would love to replace Samaras as party leader and as prime minister.” As probably PASOK MPs did in November 2011.
With the support of business elite of this country, Avramopoulos has good chances to climb to ND leadership and even to Prime Ministers’ seat. For the time being I couldn’t imagine any other ND party official to challenge Samaras.
Avramopoulos cannot only restore the pride of the military parades, he could restore our mood as well. He could also establish a charming link with Angela Merkel 🙂
PS I wouldn’t know a parade could cost 1.3 million euro or even 350K. Huuh?