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Violent protests took place in Athens today as German Chancellor Angela Merkel - who is a widely disliked figure within the country - arrived in Greece.
Only a few hundred metres from mass protests in central Athens Angela Merkel has been speaking with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras about the austerity measures Greece is facing.
Rocks and debris have been thrown at riot police in Athens and explosions have rocked the crowd as ten of thousands protest over the visit of Angela Merkel.
Greek police are firing teargas at demonstrators throwing stones and petrol bombs in central Athens during protests over a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Merkel was meeting Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras only a few hundred metres away from the clashes. Tens of thousands of austerity-weary Greeks took to the streets in one of the biggest protests in months.
Despite large parts of central Athens being closed, thousands of people have gathered outside the Government building ahead of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Salutes and fanfares greeted Angela Merkel as she touched down at Athens airport, but it is not the welcome she is expected when she arrives under tight security in the capital as protesters prepare to great the German Chancellor who is seen as the driving force behind Greece's austerity drive.
'Operation Angela' has begun in Athens as the unpopular German Chancellor prepares for one of the toughest receptions of her life. People in Greece blame the Germans and Ms Merkel especially for the swingeing austerity cuts in the country.
The Times (£) is reporting on the huge security operation to keep the Chancellor safe as she is expected to offer no new concessions to Greece.
Security reportedly includes:
- 7,000 police offices
- The entire 22 miles of motorway closed between the airport and the capital
- Snipers stationed on the Greek parliament building
- Trains from Attica cancelled to stop protesters arriving in the capital
- 300 coastguard officers and police divers
Ms Merkel is also rumoured to have increased her own personal security and unions have called a snap three hour stoppage to make sure she receives a loud welcome.
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As the European economic crisis continues to grow, more and more regions in the south are calling for independence.