Cyprus Mail

Tanks may be removed from October 1 parade

Defence Ministry is mulling on the removal of military vehicles from the parade

THE DEFENCE ministry is mulling ways to change the format of the October 1 military parade, which has been taking place in Nicosia every year since 1964 to celebrate the independence of Cyprus.
This year the parade may be stripped of the use of tanks, helicopters and other vehicles. If this is the case, the march of national guardsmen may be the main event.
“The ministry is still mulling over how this year’s October 1 parade will be changed while taking into consideration the economic situation. This may mean that vehicles will not be used. By leaving out vehicles from the parade’s formula, the defence ministry will save costs on petrol and on servicing,” sources at the ministry said.
They were not able to say how many vehicles are normally used and what the cost is for these vehicles to take part in the parade.
Changes in the format will in no way deflate the celebrations of the day, the sources said.
New positive changes are also being considered. These may include, for example, the president visiting some army bases before the parade, or the hoisting of the Cypriot flag.
“Positive changes will add to the prestige of the parade and help to better honour this national day, and all the heroes who fought for the cause,” sources added.
The ministry will have a meeting on September 23 to conclude it decisions.
The military parade will mark the 53 years since the island’s independence from Britain.
Cyprus gained its independence from Britain on August 16, 1960 but the national holiday was moved to October 1 to avoid the summer heat.

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