Donation allows tanks and jet fighters to once again take part in Greek anniversary parade

THESSALONIKI, Greece – For three years, Greece’s financial crisis had prompted the country to cut back on its annual celebration of its entry into World War II in 1940.

But a donation by a private Greek oil company changed that Monday, providing money needed to once again have tanks and jet fighters join the parade in Thessaloniki city.

Because of spending cuts imposed as part of Greece’s 240 billion-euro ($325 billion) bailout agreements, only people marching on foot could join the parades in 2010, 2011 and 2012. But the anonymous donation brought back the parade’s traditions.

Thousands of police were on hand Monday, anticipating demonstrations by left-wing parties and opponents of Greece’s austerity measures. But few protesters appeared on the scene.