ATHENS – After several years of Independence Day parades closed to the public to prevent protests against austerity measures, the March 25 celebration started off with the annual march of students through the country’s Capital, wearing traditional outfits of blue and white to mark the beginning of the 1821 uprising against the Ottoman Occupation.
As happens every year, the general high school of Kalavryta city in the Peloponnese opened the parade wearing the traditional costumes and holding the banner of the 1821 revolution.
Mayor Dimitris Kaminis and symbolic Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos watched a formation of military might, more relevant now with Turkey stepping up provocations and sending fighter jets and warships to violate Greek airspace and waters.
Airborne fighter jets and helicopters made low passes above the main Syntagma Square outside the Parliament, setting off applause from crowds which were allowed to attend and not just VIP’s and invited guests as before and with a Leopard tank adorning the Greek flag.
Στρατιωτική παρέλαση στην Αθήνα. Από κάμερα της Skyline ….
Posted by Dimitris Tzioumakis on Sunday, March 25, 2018
Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, leader of the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) who are junior partners in a coalition led by the anti-nationalist ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, used the occasion to fire a fusillade of patriotic breast-beating aimed at Turkey.
” Anyone who dares to challenge our national sovereignty will crush him. Those who think of great Ottoman empires must remember in 1821: How did the Greek people confront the Ottoman Empire and crush it, “said Kammenos, Newsbomb reported.
Schools from the first district of Athens took a part in the parade, with five flag bearers, as well as the body of Greek scouts, the Special Olympics team, the association of Areopolis of Mani and the Pancretan Union of Athens.
Kaminis and Pavlopoulos, and other officials from the political and military side laid wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier at Syntagma Square before the beginning of the parade.