SPAIN has completed an ‘austerity’ National Day parade in Madrid – without its usual fighter jets, fly-past or tanks.
While last year’s commemorations costing €2.8 million, this year recession-hit Spain decided to save money and managed to reduce the total price tag by around 65%.
The national flag was brought in on foot instead of by plane and a generally more subdued atmosphere than usual prevailed.
The ceremony was held in Madrid’s Plaza de Neptuno and attended by King Juan Carlos and prime minister Mariano Rajoy.
Instead 2,600 marching soldiers, 50 armoured cars and seven smaller aircraft were present to mark the day Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492.
Meanwhile 12 Catalan schools shunned their invitations to today’s parades.
“We feel Catalan, so we have nothing to celebrate,” said Luis Plana from a parent and teacher association in Cataluna.