Music, dance, fire works and smoke devices. No masks and no social distancing. Hundreds of carnivalists flooded the main square and the surrounding streets of Xanthi on Saturday night as if there was no pandemic and no lockdown measures.
The huge party took place when Municipality started to play loud carnival music with wireless megaphones.
The outdoor party lasted two to three hours before police and municipality used megaphones urging the residents of the city in north-eastern Greece to disperse.
The gathering triggered an outrage and locals authorities were forced to take position on the issue.
The president of Culture Center of the Xanthi Municipality, Ilias Laskaridis, said in a statement that local authorities play carnival music in the morning and the afternoon since March 8 with the aim to boost the market and to positive support the people’s mood.
“At some point it has been observed that people started crowding, […] children dressed in costumes were cheerfully playing […] Immediately the music was halted and we started calling on people to avoid crowding.
The statement said further that “the youth spontaneously gathered” and urged critics to recall that “they were young once too.”
It claims that criticism is based on “petty interests” and denies any involvement of local authorities or any responsibility for the event.
Health experts told media that the results of the mass gathering will be seen in 10 to 15 days.
sources: xanthinews.gr and others