Independence Day parades to go ahead as planned

Parades organized in Athens and Thessaloniki for Greek Independence Day on March 25 will go ahead as planned, the government said following a meeting between the prime minister and several ministers.

Lucas Papademos met on Monday with ministers of the Interior Tassos Yiannitsis, Defense Dimitris Avramopoulos, Education Giorgos Babiniotis, Justice Militiadis Papaioannou, Citizens’ Protection Michalis Chrysochoidis and State Giorgos Stavropoulos, as well as spokesman Pantelis Kapsis.

Topping the agenda of the meeting was security for the March 25 military and student parades, which government officials fear may become targets of anti-government protests.

A number of public events recently, most notably the October 28 parades, have been marked by demonstrations against politicians and public figures. Last October, the military parade in Thessaloniki was halted due to protests.

These fears also come in the wake of rioting that broke out during a protest rally in mid-February that resulted in dozens of buildings being torched in central Athens and hundreds of businesses suffering vandalism and looting.

The ministers meeting on Monday with Papademos assured that the Independence Day parades would proceed on schedule, adding that there would be a heavy police presence, in central Athens especially.

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