Courtesy of Mish.
German chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting Greece this week in an alleged show of solidarity. Reuters notes it will take 6,000 police to protect her.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will tell Greeks she wants to keep their country in the euro when she visits Athens this week, but she faces a hostile reception from a people worn down by years of austerity and recession.
Many Greeks blame Merkel, who has publicly chastised them for much of the past three years, for the nation’s plight. Opponents, some of whom have caricatured her as a bullying Nazi, have promised protests on Tuesday during her first visit to Greece since the euro zone crisis erupted there in 2009.
“She does not come to support Greece, which her policies have brought to the brink. She comes to save the corrupt, disgraced and servile political system,” said Alexis Tsipras, who leads the opposition Syriza alliance. “We will give her the welcome she deserves.”
About 6,000 policemen will be deployed in the capital for her 6-hour visit, turning the city centre into a no-go zone for protest marches planned by labour unions and opposition parties.
“We don’t want her here,” said Yannis Georgiou, 72, who has seen his pension cut by one third. “We will take to the streets against austerity and against the government. Maybe Merkel will hear something and see what we’re going through.”
Is Merkel’s visit really a show of solidarity? Solidarity between whom? Between politicians conspiring to screw Greeks for the benefit of banks?
Merkel Arrival in Athens to Be Met by Anti-Austerity Protesters
Bloomberg reports Merkel Arrival in Athens to Be Met by Anti-Austerity Protesters
“Mr. Samaras said we should welcome Mrs. Merkel as she deserves,” said Alexis Tsipras, the head of Syriza party, which finished second in the June elections and has urged workers, the unemployed and young people, to join the rallies. “We completely agree.”
Samaras has warned that soaring unemployment and political unrest risk the kind of upheaval that undermined the Weimar Republic in post-World War I Germany and ushered in the Nazis. His coalition is currently negotiating a new round of budget cuts to unlock the next aid payment to keep the country afloat.
GSEE and ADEDY, the umbrella organizations for private and public-sector unions, have called for a three-hour walkout tomorrow in the Athens metropolitan area and a rally in the center of the capital. From the nationalist Golden Dawn Party, which evokes Adolf Hitler’s Nazis with their stiff-armed salutes and free-food drives for “pure Greeks,” to the Greek Communist Party, Merkel is persona non grata.