Thousands turn out for Greek Independence Day parade

Thousands of Greeks lined a main central Athens avenue despite rain Wednesday to watch the country’s annual Independence Day military parade, with spectators allowed along the route for the first time in about three years.

The crowds at Wednesday’s parade, where tanks rolled down the street and fighter jets and military helicopters flew overhead, were in stark contrast to last year’s event, which took place under heavy security. Spectators had only been allowed near the end of the route.

Authorities limited public access to national parades after protesters had heckled officials attending such events over the handling of Greece’s financial crisis and austerity measures imposed in return for billions of euros in international rescue loans.

March 25 marks the start of Greece’s 1821 uprising against the Ottoman Empire. [AP]

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