City, prefecture row over parade protocol

The Athens city council yesterday denounced the «unseemly» ban by regional authorities on the municipal police participating, for the first time, in Monday’s Independence Day military parade through the capital. «We express our regret at the mean-spiritedness, the unseemliness and the lack of sensitivity displayed by the Athens prefect,» a municipal statement said yesterday. Having secured the approval of the military on Thursday, municipal authorities readied 28 uniformed motorcycle policemen and 12 patrol cars to parade after the fire brigade’s contingent of fire engines. But, just before the event, Athens prefect Eleni Besbea – under whose jurisdiction the parade came – threatened to stop the ceremony if the municipal police took part. The city council said that municipal authorities had repeatedly tried to get permission from Besbea, who failed to return their calls. Meanwhile, the government yesterday denied that President Costis Stephanopoulos was annoyed because TV reporters did not ask him for a statement after the parade.

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