Written By: Kevin Dunne
Thousands of protesters rallied in Athens, Greece on Tuesday when German Chancellor Angela Merkel made her first visit to the country in years. The Chancellor visited Athens to reaffirm the bond between the two countries, because Greece has been going through turbulent times. The Greek economy has been recovering from a recent collapse (and the subsequent rioting), so Merkel’s visit was also to discuss plans for Greece’s future.
Antonis Samaras, the Prime Minister of Greece said that “Germany and Greece are going to work very closely together.” Merkel asserted that Greece was on the right track towards financial restoration. The Greek government had proposed austerity measures in exchange for bailout money and the measures have been met with immense opposition, from both citizens and members of government. An estimated 25,000 to 50,000 protesters greeted Merkel upon her arrival, in objection of the proposed austerity cuts. While the two leaders assured reporters and protesters that progress was being made to set Greece back on its feet, a great deal of doubt still remains.
The proposed $35 billion German-funded relief is seen as detrimental to the Greeks and many of the protesters reacted harshly towards Merkel. According to yalibnan.com, “a group of dustmen dressed in Nazi uniforms and waving Swastika flags paraded through Syntagma Square in a jeep. The convoy got as close to parliament as riot police would allow” Others carried signs that said, “Out with the Fourth Reich” in protest of Merkel’s visit.
Video by Updates World News / YouTube
More discussions are to be held in the near future to discuss austerity plans, but Merkel’s recent visit shows that great deals of Greeks are opposed to any such plans.