The customary pupils' parade through downtown Athens, with Syntagma Square at its centre, was held on Thursday a day before the March 25 Greek Independence Day celebration. Pupils from 12 elementary schools, 10 junior high schools, 15 high schools and physical education institutes, as well as members of various societies, unions, the boy scouts and Special Olympics athletes participated.

The parade began with the Athens municipality's philharmonic orchestra passing in front of the dignitaries' stand. The government was represented by Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou, who congratulated the pupils and their teachers at the end of the parade.

Earlier, a brief commotion occurred in the main square when a group of educators and supporters gathered to protest a wide-ranging plan for school mergers around the country.