Massive security for Greek Independence Day Parade

AP News
Posted: Mar 25, 2013 7:16 AM
Massive security for Greek Independence Day Parade

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A military parade marking Greece's Independence Day has taken place, for a second straight year, amid a heavy police presence that barred onlookers from most of the route.

Armed forces units marched past Greece's president, ministers and other dignitaries in an otherwise empty Syntagma Square in central Athens to commemorate the Greeks' uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1821. In a bow to austerity, no armored units took part and no planes flew over.

Heavy security has been the norm since a military parade in October 2010 in the northern city of Thessaloniki, commemorating Greece's entry into World War II, was disrupted by anti-austerity protesters. Politicians were insulted and were forced to flee the scene.

On Sunday, only about 20 protesters turned up and were kept well away by police.