Record turnout for ‘Indignant’ protesters in Athens

Greeks inspired by the Spanish ?Indignant? or ?Indignados? movement held their largest protest so far in Athens on Sunday, which some estimates put as high as 100,000 people, although a more accurate assesment seemed to be that those taking part exceeded 30,000.

No official figure was given for the number of people packing into Syntagma Square in front of Parliament but it was clear that the protest was by far the largest since the movement began on Wednesday.

Then, some 20,000 people were thought to have taken to the streets of the capital but it was clear that on Sunday, the numbers were much larger. The protest remained peaceful, as people sang, chanted slogans against the country?s politicians and austerity measures and aimed gestures at Parliament.

Greece?s deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos had earlier dismissed the significance of the country?s ?Indignant? movement.

?It is a movement without an ideology or organization, which bases itself on only one feeling, that of rage,? Pangalos told Ethnos newspaper.

Greece?s version of the ?Indignant? movement, protesting austerity measures and demanding that politicians are more in tune with citizens? needs, has led to thousands of people protesting in front or Parliament in Athens, as well as in other cities, every day since Wednesday. Some have started camping out overnight as well.

On Sunday, similar protests were due to be held in other European countries, including Spain, France and Italy.

Famed Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis gave his public backing to the protesters and called for ?the government of shame? to go along with ?the politicians for destroying, plundering and subjugating Greece.?

The protesters also found an unlikely ally in Thessaloniki?s conservative bishop, Anthimos.

An MEP representing the centrist Democratic Alliance party, Theodoros Skylakakis said that the protesters would have to affect the political process if they want to have a real impact.

?These people have to become politicized and develop a greater political realization,? he told Skai TV. ?They have to progress from ?this is what I don?t like? to ?this is what I like?.?

Organizers posted a message on their Facebook page on Saturday calling for the messages of the protest to become more specific. Suggestions included demands for the International Monetary Fund to leave Greece, for Parliamentary immunity to be lifted and for audit commission to be set up to establish how the country?s debt was amassed.

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