Greece has assumed the position of head of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) on Friday, which operates through a rotating presidency.
The change comes as antisemitic incidents continue to occur in Greece, as noted by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who said his government will work to combat antisemitism in Greece and Europe.
“Memory means empathy. We have an obligation in the present to educate (people) about the past,” Mitsotakis said in the Greek Parliament, according The National Herald.
“Modern Greece was founded on humanitarian values and universal freedoms,” Mitsotakis said. “Our commitment to the battle against racism and antisemitism is rooted in the core of these values and freedoms.”
“Education is the weapon of the reasonable man. (Being able) to draw conclusions on the basis of experience and reason: This is the best defense against dogma and hysteria,” Mitsotakis added in a statement, according to the Greek newspaper Kathimerini.
Along with celebrating the biennial of Greece independence from the Ottoman Empire, the Greek President's Office will also devote events to Holocaust remembrance.
Greece has struggled with lingering antisemitism in recent years. During the Greek Debt Crisis, the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party was elected to the Greek Parliament. Similarly, in March, an antisemitic incident occurred when a mural memorializing 50,000 Jews killed in the Holocaust in the city of Thessaloniki was defaced“We express our revulsion toward any action that insults the memory of the victims of Nazi atrocities. Once again, we underscore the need to heap scorn on racism, hatred and fanaticism and to defend our moral principles,” the ministry said at the time.