Greece will hold the military parade on March 25 and “the quality event” will be live broadcast, government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni said on Thursday. At the same time, she announced that the annual student parades commemorating the start of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire in 1821 will be canceled.
Peloni said that the military parade will take place in Athens with all necessary health protection measures.
This year the 25th March anniversary coincides with the 200-year celebrations since the start of the War of Independence, however, the celebrations plan do not run as scheduled due to the pandemic.
Greeks are stunned to hear that the parade will take place as the country experiences a resurgence of coronavirus infections and immense pressure on the health system.
It was only on Wednesday, when Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias stressed during the live briefing that “the country’s health system, especially in Attica, is at the end of its tether.” He appealed to private doctors to respond to “the national effort” and help the Attica health services cope with the overload of infections.
Responding to a question on the development of the pandemic in the country, Peloni said that pressure on the national healthcare system is rising and is expected to continue into next week.
According to Greek health experts,the country is under the fourth wave of the pandemic that currently experiences its peak. some estimate that infections decrease are expected after March 25, and some even say that no parades should take place.
While in 2020 parades were cancelled both on March 25th and October 28th, for Greece this year is a matter of prestige due to the bicentennial anniversary. PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has invited French President Emmanuel Macron and heir to the British throne, Prince Charles. They have not turned down the invitation, but with reservation due to the pandemic.
It is worth noting that on March 25th, the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates also the “Annunciation of Virgin Mary” where people flock to churches.
PS So how will the government proceed? Will it extend the lockdown beyond March 25th in order to prohibit people from attending the religious service on that day but hold a military parade and at the same time also slam “outdoor protests and rallies” as spreader events?