Kapsis calls on parties to unite against 'extremists' ahead of March 25 parade

Government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis has appealed to all political parties to take a clear stand against “extreme” protests and violence ahead of the March 25 Independence Day celebrations, which some believe will be disrupted by various demonstrators. Speaking on Tuesday, a day after Prime Minister Lucas Papademos chaired a meeting with ministers during it was decided that all government officials would attend the military parade in Athens and smaller events around the country, Kapsis said that parties should denounce any attempts to disrupt the celebrations or to cause violence. “We are seeing a number of groups with extreme ideology and political expression and there has to be united democratic front against this phenomenon,” he said. Government sources have expressed fears that some unions or other groups may attempt to hijack the military parade in Athens in a rerun of the October 28 celebrations in Thessaloniki when a variety of protesters forced the parade to be cancelled for the first ever time. Politicians have increasingly become targets of public attacks when attending events in their own constituencies. Over the past few days, popular singer Giorgos Dalaras, whose wife served in the previous government, also had missiles thrown at him during two free concerts in Athens. Kapsis said incidents such as the ones seen at Dalaras’s concerts could lead to “dangerous situations” and called on the political parties to take action to prevent similar cases.


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