Minggu, 25 Maret 2012

No major incidents at the parade in Athens but contrast protest elsewhere in Greece - also note low attendance as Greece doesn't have much to celebrate these days a far as " independence " goes...


Civil unrest marks Revolution day celebrations
by Makis Papasimakopoulos25 Mar 2012

Despite increased speculation about trouble brewing prior to the military parade in Athens on Sunday, it was not that particular parade that got the authorities scrambling during this year’s culmination of the 25th of March Revolution day celebrations.
In Thesaloniki, citizens scuffled with police officers guarding the main parade stand and 6 individuals were taken into custody. The small throng of people were led by members of Syriza and other political parties from the left side of the political spectrum and voiced their opposition against the Papademos regime and the memorandum.
In Patra, the parade was held up for several hours due to violent clashes between members of the public and riot police. Dozens of protesters marched in the town centre prior to the start of the parade and attempted to approach the dignitary stand that had been set up at the Trion Simahon square.
Riot police used tear gas to disperse the angry mob, but after the atmosphere was once again clear of chemicals, the protesters returned, voicing their opposition towards the Papademos government and the memorandum. Due to the incidents, it was decided that no government representative would be present at the parade, which eventually began just after noon.
The most severe incident of the day, took place in Iraklio, on the island of Crete, where the parade was called off altogther, for the first time in the city’s history. The decision was made after violent scenes of civic unrest convinced local authorities that going ahead with the parade would endanger the students set to take part in it.
Local MPs had perhaps anticipated the brewing troubles as it was noted that no political representatives from any party were present.
In Veria finally, 32 individuals were arrested by local authorities prior to the start of the parade there. A number of them were found to be carrying clubs and other such objects and according to a police representative, there were plans to attack the main dignitary stand.



Amid tight security, Athens parade held without major incident

The Independence Day parade in Athens passed off without any major incident on Sunday amid an extremely high police presence.
Some 4,000 police officers were on duty in central Athens and thousands more in other cities around the country as authorities feared that anti-austerity protesters would attempt to disrupt the parades.
Only minor incidents were reported in Athens, including an attempt by about 40 people to break through the police cordon. Police said that a total of 25 people were detained.
Politicians and other dignitaries were heckled by protesters at ceremonies in several cities, including Thessaloniki, where demonstrators disrupted the military parade on October 28 last year.
The parade in Iraklio, Crete, was disrupted when protesters clashed with police. Tear gas was reportedly used.
The March 25 parades are held to mark the beginning of the Greek uprising against Ottoman rule. President Karolos Papoulias, who attended the parade in Athens, made reference to the Greek Revolution in his Independence Day message.
He said that Greeks could beat the odds again by overcoming the economic crisis and generating greater solidarity from their European partners, just as they had done when they were fighting the Ottomans.
“Today, the Greek people are engaging in a tough battle,” he said. “All those years ago, nobody in civilized Europe could have imagined that the Greeks would have achieved a miracle.
“Just as then, so now we can succeed. With unity and compassion we will succeed.”



Political representatives on the messages from 25th of March celebrations
25 Mar 2012

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Sunday referred to "determination, unity and solidarity in order to win today’s battle for the economy’s turnaround," in his message on the occasion of the 191st anniversary of the commencement of the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829).
Speaking immediately after the main military parade through downtown Athens in front of Parliament, Papademos reminded that the day honors the memory of those who fought for liberty and freedom in 1821. "The values, ideals and their actions provide us with the example; they show us the path with which we can win today’s battle," he added.
On his part, President Karolos Papoulias cited the need for unity, by saying "we will continue this struggle until we are the final victors. Greece does not deserve such behavior on the part of Europe, I am certain we will prevail."
He spoke after the end of the military parade, which he inspected from the podium set up in front of Parliament.
Finally, Minister for Defence Dimitris Avramopoulos noted that "right now the political class of the nation is being taught a historical lesson. We need to overcome this crisis and look at the future with optimism. It's a shame that more members of the public were not here to watch this grand parade".
He was course talking about the small public attendance at this year's parade, which many media outlets reported as being the lowest of recent history. (AMNA/athensnews)

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