Thousands of Greeks protest in anger at Merkel’s visit to Athens

City A.M. Reporter
ABOUT 8,000 demonstrators chanted anti-austerity slogans and hoisted banners warning Angela Merkel she was not welcome in Greece at a protest yesterday, the eve of a visit by the German chancellor.

Organised by labour unions fed up with wage and benefit cuts, the demonstration was called before Merkel said she was coming to Greece in a gesture of support for the government’s fiscal reforms.

But protesters did not miss the opportunity to vent their anger at Merkel, whose insistence on a tough reform programme many Greeks blame for their country's plight. The main banner in front of parliament was a large German flag emblazoned with the words “Angela, you are not welcome!”.

Greece is preparing extensive security measures for today’s visit, Merkel’s first to Greece since the debt crisis erupted in 2009.