Greek protests over Merkel visit

Stones are being thrown at Greek riot police who are firing teargas in return at protesters on the streets of Athens demonstrating against the visit of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel - her first since the euro crisis began.

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Teargas fired at protesters in Athens

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.

Police have fired teargas at protesters

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.

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Thousands gather in protest in Athens

Huge protests outside the Government building in central Athens

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.

Huge protests outside the Government building in central Athens
More protesters steam in to the square

'Operation Angela': Tight security ahead of Athens raucous welcome for Merkel

'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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