President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Sunday urged those in power "to fairly distribute the burdens of the crisis the country is facing among the Greek people". Speaking in the Ioannina village of Ligiades, where he attended memorial events for the victims of the 1943 massacre and looting of the village, Papoulias said that the Nazi barbarity at Ligiades left an indelible mark in European history and European civilisation.

Greece, he said, sacrificed many dead and ruins in the struggle to free itself and for Europe to be relieved of the Nazi regime, which "our partners in Europe should not forget".

Today, the President added, the Greek people were waging another battle, a very tough battle for its survival.

"In this battle, those in office must display greater understanding, they must distribute the burdens fairly. The burdens cannot fall on the shoulders of the weaker. We need to wage this battle together and win it," Papoulias said, adding his conviction that the battle will be won.

Papoulias also laid a wreath at the monument of the 92 victims -- among them 34 children aged six months to 11 years, 37 others, mostly women, aged 30 to 64, and 11 over 70 years of age -- who were massacred by the Nazi forces on October 3, 1943.