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First time ever: Thessaloniki Mayor abstains from students’ parade on OXI Day

For the first time ever, the mayor of Thessaloniki did not attend the students’ parade part of the celebrations of historic OXI Day, marking the beginning of WWII for Greece.

Mayor Yannis Boutaris had announced a couple of days ago his intention to not attend the students parade saying that he disagrees with the institution.

“I think school parades have no logic anymore. In no part of the world there are student parades with military marches. I will not attend this year.”

A week ago, Mr. Boutaris, speaking on the radio of APE-MPA, said he opposed student parades.

Even without the mayor’s presence students of elementary, secondary and high schools in Thessaloniki parade in the city center, enjoying the crowd’s applaud and the sunshine.

more pictures in seleo.gr

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Thessaloniki Municipality was represented by the deputy mayor.

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26 comments

  1. Hates Greece, hates orthodoxy, hates all national day parades and didn’t attend this one and wanted to cancel the March 25th parade. However has no problem with the gay pride parade. Even as a mayor of you don’t believe in it you would attend.

    When the mayor of second largest Greek city says I’m ashamed to be Greek” and poses naked for a gay pride parade you question his ability to be hold the position. Not because the supports gay people but because he despises greece, orthodoxy and our heritage and history.

  2. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    If Boutaris hates Greece, how does he get elected as Mayor of the country’s seond city? As far as not supporting the Greek Orthodox mafia is concerned, this is quite normal for a European country’s politics to be separate from the Church in the 21st century. It was not normal in 1832. Equally, endless nationalistic parades are no longer respected across Europe. 28th October is not National Day: it is an unofficial holiday, which anyone is entitled to disregard.

    Of course, it goes without saying that those who support Greek Orthodox political power are the same people who oppose women’s rights, gay rights, and any sort of social progress over the last few centuries. Boutaris deserves respect for dragging Greece out of the 18th century and into the 20th century: it has not yet reached the 21st century.

  3. +1 to everything john says. Who funded this guy’s election? maybe that needs some looking in to

  4. @ Martin like most politicians it’s self serving.

    I note you are a guest in our country, but you’re quick to criticise who we are and what we are about. In case you have a memory lapse look at the flag, the colours and cross will remind you . You sound like certain other groups who are guests and criticise and want us to change to your version of Greece.

    You can always go back to your atheist country since you hate it here so much. We are what we are and don’t need your input and constant criticism

  5. “This who support Greek Orthodox political power oppose woman’s right… gay rights …”

    Maybe you’ve been taking too much of what they hand out at gay pride events with your rhetoric

  6. boutaras was involved in the KKE in the past

    Explains it all really. Atheists who wear Rolexs and own multiple businesses. commies of Convinience

    So martin, we should cancel national day parades, promote gay pride parades, outlaw orthodoxy and Im certain you wish to flood greece with refugees to bring it into the 21st century ?

  7. The Greek church makes Greece poorer. Why support it? I am all in favour of maintaining those beautiful churches around Greece but it should not be run like a business to make money from !

  8. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    @Chris. No, I am not a guest in anyone’s country. I am an EU citizen who exercises his legal rights to reside and work in the EU. Try to learn about the modern world, instead of repeating opinions from a century ago.

  9. Praying for Brexit- Middlesex can have you back

  10. @Martin Baldwin-Edwards
    Sorry but non-Greeks living in Greece are guests.
    Only thoses who have done their national obligations for Greece have the right to have a say.
    Rights always comes with obligations, it isn’t a due.
    And so : Did you do your military service for Greece ? Of course not, since you aren’t a Greek citizen …
    Why should Greek citizens who have done their military service accept as equal somebody who didn’t do it and who isn’t even a Greek citizen ?
    So everybody can migrate to Greece and decide how the country should evolve ? This is disrespectful towards locals.

    Greece isn’t your country. Please respect Greece and Greeks by don’t getting involved into Greece’ interior affairs. Thank you.

  11. A EU citizen would make you a citizen legally, however you’re not Greek. That would make you a guest in our beautiful country. As such we expect that you treat it with respect and don’t put your feet up at the table.

  12. I am Greek Orthodox. I am not gay, am married and have children and have full citezenship rights. Agree with everything Martin said. Have I just validated Martin and invalidated those opposing him because of my status? Can we not have a debate about the issues and refrain from attacking the man (or his religion/citizenship, etc). Are we not embarrassed by a careful re-reading of the logic or these posts?

    Since when was National service or being Greek, or following any religious code the only right to clear thinking
    – indeed these are usually examples of the opposite if you look at modern history. Never close your eyes to any dogma otherwise we fall back into the dark ages/Nazism ourselves.

    I love Greece (and checking in on this site regularly) but we all need to grow up and open our eyes. Are there not things we are/should be ashamed of in Greece – could things not be better?

    J

  13. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    Thank you, J. Politis for injecting some civilised commentary into this discussion.

    One of the noticeable things about the Brexit debate in the UK is a significant number of people with a petty and rather nasty mentality — a mentality actually opposed to the concept of legal rights and of course opposed to human rights, as well as hatred of foreigners and anyone they consider a bit “different”. Since most of those people are poorly educated and on low to average incomes, they are actually opposed to their own rights as well as the rights of others. Such are the Brexit enthusiasts.

    I mention this now, because I see a few people making similar remarks here. I feel sorry for you, because you have nothing to contribute to your country.

  14. @J. Politis

    It isn’t about thinking, it is about equality.
    If both a Greek Citizen and a foreigner have the right to participate in Greek politics but only the Greek citizen has to do National obligations towards Greece, then the foreigner is privileged and the Greek citizen is disadvantaged.

    Also, if the situation escalate, only the Greek citizen will be forced to risk his life, not the foreigner and this
    is unfair.

    Between, I’m all in favor of the military service, even if it’s not very pleasant to do it.
    You want rights ? You earn them like everybody else. You can’t come to a country and demand rights without contributing.

    Also, why do you support secularism in Greece ?
    In Greece, secularism would be suicidal : Have you forgotten ? Not only the Orthodox Church is linked to the State, Islam is too (mosques are funded by the state, imams and mouftis are state officials, ect…).
    And Islam is a Religion which must stay controlled by states because it is an unorganized Religion = If States don”t manage it, extremist individuals can enter into mosques, destabilize the imams and take their place and preach extremism.
    Also, if the Greek State and Islam are separated, then who will fund mosques and pays imams and mouftis ? Qatar or Saudi Arabia will (Like in Bosnia: What a mess) … or worse: Turkey will and theses States will impose their imams/mouftis and preaches … Well, what a “nice” idea to let Turkey control mosques in Greece, especially in Thrace …

    In the case you think I’m exaggerating, this is happening in the so-called “secular” France :

    Or do you and Martin support only the separation of the Church and the State and Islam staying the only official Religion in Greece ?

    Also, don’t forget that it is quite “normal” (or at least tolerated) for others “secular” countries like the UK to have Sharia courts
    or to recognize Islamic mariages involving children (this, in “secular” Sweden”) : (Turkish source).

    Greece isn’t more backward than theses “others European countries”.

  15. Greek Orthodox mafia is right, been brain washing our children since the day they were born, enough already.

    And is being Greek anyway? Is it a mentality? Is it following traditions? Is it roasting lamb on Easter? Is it being born on its soil? Its all and none. My kids were born in Canada but by virtue of me they are Greeks and have to serve in the military. One is vegetarian and does eat lamb on Easter day, one love Greek dancing the others think its funny.

    Children parading in military parades? Besides Greece I think only North Korea does it.

    Plus what’s with this gay bashing? I thought acceptance of all differences in race, sexual preference and cultural was the only way to peaceful coexistence?!

  16. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    @Adde. Your ignorance of Greek history is shocking. Are you unaware of how many British and other non-Greeks supported and fought in the Greek Revolution? Are you unaware of how many Greeks refused to participate in the Revolution — especially rich Greeks — because they thought their financial interests were best served by remaining in the Ottoman Empire?

    Your obsession with the bureaucratic formality of military conscription is just that: a useless and dysfunctional obsession. Greece’s military security is (hopefully) guaranteed by alliances with other states and NATO: it will not come from a disorganised army of kids and a few fighter jets.

    As far as political participation is concerned, only Greek citizens may vote or stand in national or local elections. EU nationals are entitled to vote or stand in European elections, although the Greek authorities have always tried to prevent people from doing so, with little tricks and complications about where to vote. My own opinion — for any country — is that if you pay taxes and have lived somewhere for a reasonable period of time, you should have the right to vote anyway. Why should voting be confined to people either born in that country or whose parents or grandparents have some distant link with that country? Political participation should be part of long-term residence in a country — not family history.

    And your comment about Sharia marriages again shows your ignorance about your own country. Unlike Turkey, Greece allows the marriage of Muslim children as young as 12 in Thraki. This is a disgrace in itself, and derives from Greece changing nothing since the Treaty of Lausanne, with some silly ideas that nothing changes in the world.

    Essentially, this is a big problem of Greek culture — derived from Orthodoxy — that there is resistance to change, even when that change is essential and inescapable. It’s a major reason why the Greek Church needs to be independent of the State, and like churches elsewhere rely on the direct support of the people.

  17. it always amazes me what it written and what people interpret

    I haven’t seen anyone say anything about gay bashing and it seems were not civilised in some people eyes because we love our nation, religion and family values. This usually comes from people who have self hatred, no cultural identity and despise the family unit.

    It seems the usual suspects on here scream racist and that everyone is opposed to human rights and “golden toilet” supporters etc, Just because we love our country, which has centuries of traditions and is arguably the most beautiful country on earth. Its actually the SJW that have become today’s fascist, opposing anybody’s opinion and preaching hatred.

    You hope that we become carbon copies of every other nationality and be drowned in illegal immigration, gender neutral toilets and sex change for 15 year olds. We see what you contribute, hate and meaningless rants that make no sense

  18. @Martin

    Your way of presuming things is shocking.
    How do you think Greece justifies the nomination of mouftis ? While the Turks would like them to be elected by local muslims from Thrace …
    So, for you : We should separate the Mosque and the State, cancel Sharia, then mouftis would lose their role of state judges, it would removes the justification of the state to nominate them and then Mouftis would get elected by local muslims from Thrace whom for many are manipulated by Turkey ? And Turkey would unofficially takes de facto control of Thrace ?

    This is where it would led to. So sorry, but no …

    The problem is that all what you say is purely ideological (Good, bad, ect… according to your personal feelings, your ideas and your foreign culture) : You don’t take into account the consequences which would result from imposing secularism in Greece.
    Or you don’t care about them because you aren’t Greek and if one day the situation escalates you will still be able to leave safely to your homeland while many locals will have to deal with the mess ?

    Between, secularism isn’t part of the Greek culture. It is a foreign concept.

    I’m surprised that a pro-secularism person (especially one who seems to hate Orthodoxy so much) would choose to move to a Religious country while there are so many secular countries to choose from …

    I would expect from people who decide to live in a country to adapt to the country’s local culture and Religion and finally after a generation or two the children of theses people would become normal, full, citizens …

    This is mainly because of extreme leftists, islamists, christianists, atheists, foreign nationalists,ect… migrants who move to other people’s country (whatever country it is) and who try to change the local laws, Culture and Religion, instead of doing their best to adapt, that many locals are turning against migrants as a whole.

    Having a colonial/supremacist mentality isn’t well perceived by locals, wherevere you go, you know.

  19. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    @Adde: I suggest you speak with Greeks who are expert on these issues, who will correct your ignorance. I have done so for the last 20 years, and I rely on serious Greek academics to advise me and discuss such matters at length. I do not take advice from ignorant racists and nationalists.

    There are plenty of Greek university professors and researchers who can explain to you why your opinions are nothing other than nationalistic ideology and totally unhelpful — opposed to progress and solution of problems. Don’t try to pretend that it is my views that are uneducated, when the problem is with your lack of proper knowledge of complex issues.

  20. @Martin

    Again all what you said is purely ideological but this time, to make “good” measure, you also added names calling and self-congratulations to the mix. (By the way, you forgot “fashist” and “nazi”).

    You really should try to fix this complex of superiority of yours and stop trying to see things only through ideology alone.

    You also have to understand that the World’s populations are diverses and so are their History, their way of life, their Culture, their evolution and the system which suits them the best.
    What may works fine in your home country may not works well for Greece and may even ends as a disaster.
    And as contrarty, what may work in Greece may not work in your Home country : It depends what Religions are presents or are growing in the country, what neighbors countries the said country has, ect…).
    For example, secularism in France worked correctly with the Catholic Religion but is failing with Islam (and would probably fail with most unorganized Religions).
    So trying to impose secularism in Greece which has a muslim minority and where there is an ongoing muslim immigration, this is simply an irresponsible move.

    As for your elitist views, to know and understand a little a country and the citizen’s concerns, you need to speak with the inhabitants, not only with the inhabitants who are academics and not only with people
    who share your views.
    The old people, as a simple example, often have interesting things to tell about their country, its traditions and its evolution, regardless of their former jobs.
    Also, not all academics, professors, ect… are pro-secularism : Some are and some aren’t.
    And not all academics would be good at running a country correctly.
    Making theories and running correctly a country are 2 differents things … We all saw that with Varoufakis.
    If Greece is in this situation, it is in partly (and not only) because of the so-called “elites”, you shouldn’t forget that.

  21. We’ve fought in numerous wars unfortunately and are proud of our achievements and military personnnel and might. This is why we celebrate our independence from ottomans and oxi day, both a day of national pride. As a outsider , your words tell us that you have no respect for those fought and died for Greece and push your liberal logic. I can tell you from family that was there that day, the water in Smyrna was red from the river of Greek blood that was spilt, and then we have people ( use that word loosely) like yourself telling us that we shouldn’t have these military parades.

    It seems every comment you make is negative towards greece, perhaps deal with your own personal shortcomings and stop finding fault with everyone and everything

    I can say per capita we have the strongest military in Europe and even if you compare our equipment we have more modern submarines than anyone in Europe, more dense radars than any NATO country, more anti air defence systems etc etc. A lot of money has been spent to protect us against the Turks,who threaten us, and intimitade us and wish to redraw the borders. These parades installs us with pride and allow us to show appreciation to those who protect us.

  22. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    Frankly, I am tired of reading the far right nationalistic rantings of some people here. I am not going to respond other than to tell you that your opinions are not shared by decent educated Greeks. This has nothing to do with my personal citizenship (which is none of your fucking business anyway) and everything to do with your extremist and poorly informed political views. I am certain that many of you are members or supporters of Golden Toilet — which is now exposed as a fascist and violent but thankfully marginal political movement.

  23. when you respond by saying i am not going to respond you realise thats a response. If you’re tired dont read or write, but you cant do that can you.

    yes we know same old comments….uneducated, illiterate, racist golden toilet supporters. Thats the typical response of people who don’t have a valid argument. It appears some people are “xerola” as we like to say and cant take criticism or anyone opposing their view.

  24. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    @christo. Apparently, you do not understand normal English. I wrote “I am not going to respond other than to tell you…” Got it now? And no, I do not accept criticism from neo-nazis.

  25. Children should not participate in military parades IMHO. If you want the military to celebrate an historic event such as OXI Day, that’s fine; let them march. But school children should not be parading in concert with the military.