Italian President Sergio Mattarella will reportedly formally apologize on behalf of his country for the unprovoked declaration of war to Greece, on 28 October 1940. Invited by his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Matterella will pay an one-day visit to Greece on Sunday.
The two presidents will attend the military parade in Thessaloniki.
Greece celebrates the Oxi Day to commemorate the 28. October 1940 when Greek prime minister Ioannis Metaxas turned down an ultimatum by Mussolini to allow Italy to invade Greece with a single Oxi (No!). Metaxas rejection triggered a war between Greece and Italy pulling the country into the WWII.
According to media information, the Italian president will seize the opportunity to apologize for the suffering caused by this war to the Greek people.
It will be the first time Italy will apologizes for the war of 1940 and thus at highest political level. the events of 1940. The presence of Mattarella at the military parade is of high symbolism.
After the military parade in Thessaloniki, the two presidents will fly to the island of Kefalonia, where they will honour the Italian soldiers of the Acqui Division, who were executed by German troops on the island in September 1943, following the Italian armistice.
The Italian President will then proceed to the island of Corfu where he will lay a wreath at the Monument of Greek-Italian Friendship.
At the end of the day, Mattarella came laid a couple of wreaths, spoke of “Greek – Italian friendship” and “strong Europe” and left without apologies – neither official nor unofficial.