Greek police use tear gas against anti-Merkel protesters

Greek police use tear gas against anti-Merkel protesters

Greek riot police used tear gas Thursday against a small group of left-wing activists protesting the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Athens.

Defying a ban on demonstrations in the city center during Merkel's two-day visit to the country during which she is meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, a few dozen protesters peeled off from a march of around 400 and managed to break the police cordon before they were driven back.
No arrests or injuries were reported.

Around 2,000 officers, a police helicopter and drones were deployed for the visit, which ends Friday afternoon. Streets and subway stations were closed for security reasons.

Merkel is widely blamed in Greece for the austerity that the country has lived through for much of the past decade, which led to a sharp and prolonged recession and a consequent fall in living standards.

Germany was the largest single contributor to the three international bailout packages Greece received from 2010-2018 as it struggled through a dramatic financial crisis which almost saw it crash out of the eurozone. As part of those bailouts, successive Greek governments had to hike taxes, slash pensions and salaries. [AP]

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