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Home / News / Economy / Merkel in Athens: She Came, Saw, and Left. And Wished Greeks Stayed in the Euro – Live Blogging

Merkel in Athens: She Came, Saw, and Left. And Wished Greeks Stayed in the Euro – Live Blogging

 Hardly had Angela Merkel set foot in Athens and the blood started to boil among the thousands of protesters gathered in the city’s downtown. Despite the draconian security measures and the massive deployment of riot police, angry Greeks moved to downtown to protest the visit of German Chancellor.

2:45 pm

Video: protesters hand Nazi Flags at iron fence protecting the parliament and set them on fire.

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According to police estimations some 40,000 people are protesting outside Greek Parliament at Syntagma and Omonia Square.

 3:18 pm

Μέλη της ΠΟΕ ΟΤΑ ντυμένοι Ναζί φτάνουν στο Σύνταγμα και χαιρετούν ναζιστικά

Members of Municipality Workers Union POE-OTA in Nazi uniforms, flags with swastika and Nazi salute. They arrived at Syntagma Sq on a jeap. They also set a flag with the swastika on fire.

3:20 pm 

A group of people tried to take down the iron fence protecting the Greek Parliament. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades. The small group was pushed some meters away form Syntagma. State broadcaster NET is reporting, that the group put fire on garbage bins and tried to cause damages to shops after they broke pavement stones.

3:27 pm

So far police has detained 40 people. Two detentions were turned into arrests.

3:44 pm

 earlier : unpaid hospital employees hurl water bottles at Merkel convoy

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 3:52 pm

Protesters trying to take down the iron fence – tension was dissolved with the aid of tear gas and stun grenades (more pictures & video )

3:54 pm

Merkel – Samaras join press conference scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

4:04 pm

Samaras:

“Today we welcome a friend of our country and opened a new page.”

“Those who bet that Greece would collapse, will lose the betting.”

4:06 pm

Merkel:

“Much has be done, a long part of the road has been covered, there is progress, the path is difficult, yet things still needed to be done in structural reforms. For our mutual interest.”

“There is success on th elevel of Greek-German conference (?)”

“At the same time we have to give spark for development and that Greece gets assess to EU credits.”

she also made reference to EU Task Force and Horst Reichenbach and German politician assigned to aid Greece in terms of  know-how J-J Fuchtel.

 4:15 pm

 Samaras: “our enemy is the recession!” [and our friend is Merkel, the master of recession… *sigh*]

 4:18 pm

While Merkel and Samaras brief the media, Syntagma Square has turned into a battlefield . At the moment the large crowds of protesters seem to have moved away from the square, while hoodies remain there.

A hour ealrier, a man suffered a heart attack and was taken to nearby hospital.

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4:31 pm

Merkel – Samaras press conference concluded

Angela Merkel said the expected: She supports Greece, but Greece has to stick to its commitments. Things still have to be done. And she urged Greeks to wait for the Troika report when it comes to release of 31 billion euro. “I wish and hope you stay in the euro.”
 
Antonis Samaras  said the expected as well: Greece will keep its committments and end the crisis and that Merkel’s visit to Athens breaks the country’s isolation.
 
“The country’s isolation”? As if we were Iraq or Libya in times of Saddam and Gaddafi…
Yes, the meeting and the press conference did not bring out any big news – not that we were expecting a breakthrough or a verbal revolution, to tell you the truth. And for this little show without striking substance taxpayers will pay at least 2.5 million euro alone for the deployment of policemen, water cannons, fuel, helicopters .and stand-by frogmen… 
 
Greek media (Mega TV) report that Merkel told Samaras that the bailoout tranche will be released at once and not in parts.
 
4:47 pm
 
Angela Merkel meets with President Karolos Papoulias.
 
Papoulias said the unemployment among youth, first among EU countries, has to be combated. “Greeks have reached the limits of their endurance.”
 
 Unemployment among Greek youth below 25 years old is 55.4%, surpassing this of Spain.
 
Merkel told Papoulias “I am aware that the situation [in the society] is tough; I came here to support Greece”.
 
Then they continued their talks without th epresence of the camera.
 
5:00 pm
 
Earlier today:
Merkel-Samaras upon arrival at his office:
 
Merkel: Nice desk you have here
Samaras: Yes, it’s the same desk of Karamanlis
 
Angela merkel had visited athens in 2007 when Kostas Karamanlis was PM.
 
5:05 pm
 
Tension again at Syntagma Square.
 
Tear gas and stun grenades as protesters run away in crowds
 
5:07 pm
It looks as if police is trying to empty Syntagma Square from protesters.
 
5:08 pm
 
A bit earlier: Amid clouds of tear gas and flying stones, a naked man arrived and started to wave to riot policemen and protesters. He was cheered by protesters. The man was a foreigner, says NewsIt.
 
 
 …and the Video:
 

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5:27 pm

A visit from outer space: Samaras takes Merkel for a refreshing walk in the garden of the Presidential Manor, after the tiring press conference.

Just a couple of meters away riot police clashes with protesters…

But we, Greeks, have seen worst: Greek MPs voting the austerity measures inside the Parliament, while outside police batons and tear gas chase with unprecedented violence the protesters. But that was long time ago… 2011 if I am right…

 5:38 pm
Merkel arrived at Hilton for a meeting with businessmen: Greek bankers, president of Greek Employers’ Association, and representatives of German Companies in Greece, like Telecomunication OTE. There is also talk about the SIEMENS representative.
 
Maybe that’s the reason why Samaras won’t let her a minute alone from the very moment she arrived in Athens. He may try to persuade her to hand him over Christoforakos’ phone number. Christoforakos, fugitive in Greece, sought shelter in Germany for bribery in SIEMENS scandal.
 
5:56 pm
 
Few protesters outside the Greek Parliament.
Greek media: 193 detentions and 12 arrests. Two injuries: one policeman hit by stone and one civilian. However the civilian cannot be considered as injury as he suffered heart attack.
 
I think that’s THE photo of today’s events
 
6:10 pm
German Media (“Handelsblatt“) pictures about Merkel’s visit in Athens
 
 
Banner: NO to 4th Reich
 
 6:40 pm
 
All quiet in downtown Athens, although still some protesters outside the Greek Parliament. And police.
 
Merkel still at the meeting with businessmen.
 
Earlier, the chairman and the spokesman of national party Independent Greeks came under tear gas attack when riot police was chasing a group of young protesters.
 
6:50 pm
 
Merkel is heading to Athens airport. Samaras was left behind.
 
It’ the Foreign Minister who will wave Merkel ‘Goodbye’ in the name of the Greek government and the protesters
 
 7:30 pm
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel left Greece.
 
Greek taxpayers spent more than 2.5 million euro in order to secure her a safe stay in Athens.
 
And what did we hear from her? “I wish and hope you stay in the euro“. That’s the most expensive empty phrase I ever heard in my whole life.
 
As Merkel left and protesters went home, this live blogging concludes.
 
Thank you for following, reading and sharing with us humour and plight 🙂
 
“Keep Talking, Greece” – the blog about real Greece in English
 
PS all roads and metro stations in downtown Athens are open to traffic and the public.
 
 
 
See KTG’s previous posts on Merkel in Athens HERE and Our Open Letter to her, HERE

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23 comments

  1. 15.15 Tear gas and fire bombs: Es geht loss…? 🙁

  2. Merkel Krusciov.

  3. as the expression goes. with friends like these…. you know the rest.

  4. keeptalkinggreece

    he just made it clear”: our enemy is the recession!

  5. I guess that Merkel wouldn’t expect flowers and red carpet from greek people? Anyway, Greek will survive, with or without germans help. Greek invented DEMOCRACY while Germans invented Facism. And above all of this Germans are asking Greece to buy military hardware from them and on the other hand they keep pushing about the debt paying.Hang in there Greece, your time will come to recover!

  6. to be fair gecko gecko greeks went thrugh all the types of goverment before we tried democracy. KTG recesion is not the enemy its a symptom. its like blaming the bullets for a war.

  7. keeptalkinggreece

    Samaras said so, not me. My contribution was the the bailout program triggers more recession as it contains zero measure on growth & development.

  8. “recesion is not the enemy its a symptom”. Exactly what I was going to say. Does Samaras think that the recession “just happened” for no reason ?

  9. The walk of M&S to the Presidential Palace was one the them most surreal moments I have ever witnessed here in Greece… It was like we were watching a good old-fashioned Sovjet propaganda movie. While they strolled together, chitchatting and Merkel looking if no car would come when they crossed a street, I saw on Zougla simultaneously MAT and Hoodies collide. And knowing that this is just around the corner from each other… Total fake.

  10. Oops to soon… Wanted to add:
    Like they were walking in another universe. Total warped reality. But I am afraid that their reality is that warped…

  11. keeptalkinggreece

    M&S or S&M?

  12. they shop at am M&S but they practise S&M on everyone else. handcuffs, beatings, multiple people. all the hallsigns of a good party

  13. Like I said on an earlier thread, this is a statement. It’s the elite saying “we are in control”.

  14. keeptalkinggreece

    SO it is! lol

  15. where’s the money though? Did Merkel bring a check?

  16. keeptalkinggreece

    I’m afraid she didn’t. Didn’t hear anything about …

  17. The people that still blame Merkel for the problems Greece is facing are the ones that will always find blame outside of Greece for its own problems. The idiots that are still trying to run Greece are holding onto to the last pieces of any sort of power they think they have. Meanwhile the other vultures who have yet to rule are circling for their first taste of power on the carcass of what is left of Greece. The question is who will be left to blame when its all over?

  18. Merkel is not being blamed for the problems Greece is facing. Merkel is being blamed, and rightfully so, for preventing something being done about it. The policies she advocates, and the people she represents (which are not the German people in this case, but the vultures in the EU and Troika) have no interest in solving the problems in Greece, Spain, Portugal or Ireland.
    I fact, they gave the final proof for that themselves, today. While Merkel is in Greece pulling Antonis strings and telling him he “must stick with the program”, her ally Christine and the IMf admit, IN WRITING, that they all have it wrong and it doesn’t work, will not work and cannot work. That leaves only 1 possibility. The austerity being insisted on is a deliberate attempt to sink the economies of the countries involved. No 2 ways about it. It’s deliberate, it’s intended and she is spearheading it.
    See my comment in the Tsipras post on KTG for the link and the synopsis of the proof, if you don’t feel like reading 60 pages of IMF speak…

  19. This is where you are mistaken, because it is not the memorandum that’s the problem but the unwillingness of the politicians of Greece to follow it. Had structural reforms been carried out with the same vigour as taxing have been the deficit would have drastically been reduced immediately and steps to stimulate the economy could have already been implemented. The continuation of ignoring the elephant in the room, the huge public sector of Greece is what is bringing about the prolonged pain and suffering to the masses of Greece. This is what Merkel and the troika are supporting, structural reforms. The MPs would rather keep their clients happy rather than risk losing their political seats and the rest of the Greeks pay for it.

  20. You obviously did not go and read the IMF report I’m referring to, published today. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Greek memorandum, or structural reforms, or civil service. It has to do with the “medicine” prescribed by doctor Troika to all. Austerity. It is now admitted, in writing, black on white, it does not work. In fact, it is now admitted that the policies they imposed do exactly the opposite from what they say they intended. I have my doubts on those intentions, but that is another argument. Instead of stabilizing an economy it kills it. In writing by the Lagarde gang. It’s only 60 pages long, the important bit is on page 40-41-42-43.
    In simple terms, THE PRINCIPLE IS WRONG. So why come all the way to insist we stick with something she knows doesn’t work?
    And Merkel is not here to urge Greece to support structural reforms. Merkel is here to score brownie points at home for the coming elections.
    “Vote for me! Look how though I am. Vote for me! I even go into the lions’ den and crack the whip on them, in their own Parliament. See, Vote for me!” that’s what this is all about, and Samaras happily obliges, because he is promised another 30 billion to squandre which we’ll be made pay for.
    Posturing and jockeying for position in the next election, so they can carry on protecting the vulture capitalist at the expense of the ordinary person.
    As for the memorandum, you really need to go outside and ask a few people how it’s being implemented and working. You won’t be short of answers, believe you me.