Athens celebrated on Thursday the 73rd anniversary of its liberation from Nazi occupation forces with a ceremony on the Acropolis.
The event opened with the raising of the Greek flag by the presidential guard (the evzones), included speeches by political leaders, and was followed by the laying of wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the parliament building.
Interior Minister Panos Skourletis said that the day commemorated the great spirit of a people that broke into joyous celebration on October 12, 1944, when the last German soldier left. Three and a half years of a painful occupation ended after the Greek people faced it with unflagging strength and despite famine, executions and torture.
The liberation of Athens is a story that unites and bridges differences, and one which recognises what was gained after great struggle, loss and sacrifice, Athens Mayor George Kaminis said.
The event was attended by representatives of the Greek parties, the Greek Orthodox Church, local government, and national defence leaders.