Spain celebrates most austere National Day in recent yrs
Madrid: Spain celebrated its National Day Friday with a slimmed-down military parade that reflected a sharp reduction in the budget for the event amid tough austerity.
With no aerial exhibition, without tanks or armoured cars and with the participation of some 2,600 soldiers - 400 fewer than last year - the parade went off more quietly and with less emotion than in previous years.
As every year, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia presided over the event, accompanied by Crown Prince Felipe and his wife, Princess Letizia.
Mariano Rajoy, attending his first parade as prime minister, was greeted in silence by the public, instead of with the traditional whistles and boos endured by predecessor Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero during his last years in office.
The parade kicked off with the national anthem being played, followed by a solemn tribute to the flag and to those fallen in the line of duty, which ended with the Aguila (Eagle) patrol flying overhead, streaking the sky with the colours of the Spanish flag.