NEWS

Opposition leader lashes out at 'Merkelites'

Opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday called German Chancellor Angela Merkel's official visit to Greece a symbolic expression of support «for a government that is on the brink of collapse."

Tsipras was speaking at a protest rally organized in front of Parliament on Syntagma Square, as Merkel was meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras just a few hundred meters away at the Maximos Mansion.

"Merkel is here to support the 'Merkelites' of Greece: Samaras, [Evangelos] Venizelos and [Fotis] Kouvelis,» Tsipras said, referring to government's other two coalition partners from socialist PASOK and Democratic Left, respectively.

The leader of the far-left party said that «the Europe of peoples will triumph over the Europe of memorandums and barbarism,» adding that «the democratic tradition of Europe will not allow a European people, the Greek people, to become a guinea pig of the crisis and to turn Greece into a vast social graveyard."

Tsipras was joined by Bernd Rixinger, co-leader of the German far-left party Die Linke, who expressed his opposition to the European Union-International Monetary Fund austerity program for Greece.

"We want to see conditions in which people can live by their work and not to see a negative climate being created between German pensioners and workers toward Greeks. We are here to express our international support,» Rixinger said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), Aleka Papariga attended a rally organized by the affiliated PAME union in Omonia Square before protesters marched onto Parliament, while Panos Kammenos, the head of the Independent Greeks party, delivered a letter to the German Embassy criticizing austerity measures, sellotaping the note on the embassy's door when he was denied entry.

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