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Italy Marks Republic Day With Low-Cost Military Parade

Jun. 2, 2013 - 11:33AM   |  
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ROME — Rome’s annual military parade to mark Republic Day was given an austerity make-over on Sunday, proceeding without the usual spectacular air shows or tank displays in a sign of the times in recession-hit Italy.

More than 3,000 soldiers, police officers, parachutists and other members of the civilian and military corps marched on foot in a low-cost version of the parade along the Via dei Fori Imperiali — a broad avenue through the ancient Roman Forum that was built by Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in the 1930s.

The costs of the national celebration were cut to 1.5 million euros ($1.9 million) this year, compared with 2.0 million euros in 2012 and 4.4 million euros in 2011 — meaning horses, tanks and other costly parade traditions were left out of Sunday’s event.

After the end of World War II and the killing of Mussolini, Italians voted in a popular referendum on June 2, 1946 to abolish the monarchy.

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