Several thousand demonstrators gathered in Brussels on Sunday and several hundred in Amsterdam to plead for solidarity with cash-strapped Greece on the eve of a make-or-break summit with European leaders.
Addressing the crowd in Amsterdam, veteran Greek MEP Manolis Glezos urged Athens’ creditors to give the country «one more year» to resolve its debt crisis.
“This crisis was caused by the financial sector, not by the Greek people,» said Glezos, a Greek resistance hero against Nazi occupation in World War II, who at 92 years old remains a firebrand politician.
“It’s the financial sector that has to pay, not the Greek people,» Glezos said to the loud applause of around 350 demonstrators at Amsterdam’s historic Dam Square.
Some of the protesters waved Greek flags while others carried placards saying: «No more EU austerity» and «Stop EU blackmail.”
Demonstrator Sotiris Dialas, 32, told AFP he was «worried about tomorrow» when EU leaders will attend an emergency summit aimed at staving off a Greek default.
“I have many friends in Greece and nobody knows what’s going to happen,» he said, draped in a Greek flag.
In Brussels, demo organiser Sebastien Franco told Belgian national television channel La Une that austerity was not the answer to Greeces problems.
“Austerity is not working, it reduces the income of poor people in the name of reimbursement to creditors… who continue to enrich themselves,» he said.
Some 3,500 people turned out for the demo in the Belgian capital, according to Belga news agency, citing police figures.
Sunday’s rallies came a day after thousands of people demonstrated in France, Germany and Italy to express solidarity with migrants in Europe and austerity-hit Greece.