Greece celebrates March 25 but Germany’s Chancellor fails to send congratulatory message

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On Thursday and into the weekend, Greece celebrated 200 years since the start of its struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire with a number of ceremonies and an annual military parade.

Prince Charles, who is the heir to the British throne and whose father Prince Philip was born in Corfu as part of the Greek royal family, attended the annual independence day parade, as did Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. French President, Emmanuel Macron, pulled out because of COVID-19 lockdowns in parts of France.

READ MORE: Prince Charles presented with City of Athens medal of honour.

Another leader, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, failed to send a congratulatory message to Greece on the anniversary of March 25, drawing criticism as she was the only world leader to do so.

Germany’s Ambassador in Greece, Ernst Reichel, tried to respond to the criticism, saying she didn’t send a message because she was not invited to the events.

“Criticism that Chancellor Merkel did not send a congratulatory message on 25 March is due to an apparent lack of knowledge about diplomatic practice. President Steinmeier, our Head of State, congratulated warmly. Had Germany been invited, he would have been the invitee,” Reichel wrote on Twitter.

Thursday’s ceremonies, at a time of renewed tension with Turkey, featured a flypast by Greek, US and French fighter jets, as well as a military parade including cavalry units and the Greek Presidential Guard – the Evzones.

READ MORE: Greek pride on display across Australia to celebrate bicentenary of the Greek Revolution.

A relic of the Aghia Lavra banner, associated with the start of the Greek revolution, was featured for the first time in the annual parade.

Following a dawn ceremony at the Acropolis, the centre of Athens was heavily guarded and a carpet of blue and white flowers forming a Greek flag was spread out over Syntagma Square, the scene of riots during the crisis.

READ MORE: Military parade in Athens honours Greece’s Independence Day heroes.

Source: Reuters.

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