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Draconian Security Measures for Greek Parades

For the third consecutive year, thousands of police officers and strict security measures were deployed in order to shut down Athens’ and Thessaloniki’s centers for the parades commemorating the country’s heroic entry into World War Two. In both cities, the school and the military parades were once again marked by draconian security measures with uniformed and plain clothes policemen protecting local officials from possible threats or protests, while the parents could not see their children parading due to the tight security measures that barred onlookers from most of the route.
In Thessaloniki, the striking military parade was once again attended only by state officials, police officers and journalists, who had to show their IDs in order to attend and cover the event. The rest of the people were allowed to watch the parade either at its beginning or at its ending point, and police barricades would not allow them to move closer to the officials’ stand.
At the same time, Athens looked like an abandoned city. Syntagma square was surrounded by barricades and access to the areas close to the officials’ stand in front of the Parliament was only allowed to those holding special accreditation. Parents were only allowed to see their children just before the end of the event, on Panepistimiou street.
Heavy security and “privé” parades has been the norm since a military parade on October 28, 2010, in Thessaloniki was disrupted by anti-austerity protesters. Politicians were insulted and were forced to flee the scene.

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