The elderly recalled the days during the junta (1967-19674), when puppet government and the colonels were imposing bans on ‘meetings and gathering with participation of more than three people’. The decision of Greek police issued on Monday noon to ban protest rallies in downtown Athens during the visit of Merkel must have indeed caused a creepy thrill on the spines of millions of Greeks.
Despite the draconian security measures, with 7,000 riot policemen, snipers, helicopters and iron fences and barricades, Greek police decided to ban the mass protest rallies in downtown Athens from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012. Apparently out of fear for the outbreak of riots in the broader area of Syntagma Square and the German embassy near the War Museum.
Greek police issued a statement that any public gatherings and marches would be banned between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Tuesday in a large area around the city centre. It said the decision was being taken in the interests of public safety and the city’s “socioeconomic life.”
The police decision triggered strong reactions also among the coalition government parties PASOK and Democratic Left that issued statements saying that they do not agree with the ban as it forbids the expression of polyphony and different opinion..
In a joint statement, public and private sector unions ADEDY and GSEE announced that they will not bow to police order and that they will hold their protest rallies as scheduled. Trade unions have scheduled to hold their protest at 1 p.m. at Omonia and Syntagma Square, while the party of Independent Greeks has planned to stage a protest outside the German embassy at 6 p.m.
The ban ‘sends’ protesters in Omonia (2 km away from Syntagma) and Areos Park (3 km away).
Draconian Security Measures
Seven thousand policemen will be deployed in the city centre and on route from Athens Airport to Hilton Hotel. Snipers will take positions on buildings roofs. Helicopters will fly over. Iron fences and barricades will be posted around the Greek Parliament, the German embassy and the Hilton Hotel where Angela Merkel will reside during her 7-hour visit and thus as of Monday night. Four police water cannons will be stand by to dissolve any rioting protesters.
Even ‘frogmen’ of the special security units will be stand by, should for some reason Angela merkel and her delegation will pick up the coast line to reach the city.
All across the 36-km route from Athens Airport to downtown via Attiki Odos and Katechaki Avenue, no passerby will be allowed to come close to the road, in closer than 100 meters.
Six or even seven metro stations will be closed to public, as of 10 o’ clock in the morning.
Passerby and cars will be banned from the city centre.
KTG understands that the traffic will be gradually halted when Merkel will be arriving to Hilton Hotel and in the evening while she will be leaving Athens. It is said that Vassilisi Sofias Aveneu will be closed to traffic form Hilton Hotel up to Greek Parliament. Also all roads around Syntagma Square until the beginning of syggrou Avenue. Traffic will be open in Alexandras, Kifisiaw and Mesogiion Avenue, except when Merkel is moving around.
KTG also understood from prime time news in Greek TV channels, that a protest rally will be held in the downside of Syntagma Square and that protests and gatherings are not allowed in the area Parliament – Kolonaki – German embassy – Hilton.
KTG would urgently advise its readers to avoid the city centre if it’s possible.
It will be the biggest security operation in Athens. Even bigger than the one back in 1999, when US-President Bill Clinton visited Greece in a ‘hostile’ atmosphere.
Athens Red and No-Go Zone
Angela Merkel’s airplane is scheduled to land at 12-12:30 noon. She will meet Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at Maximos Residence and President Karolos Papoulias at 5 pm. Merkel will be accompanied by her own safety guards. She will attend a lunch/dinner at the Museum of Acropolis [then wait that also the Acropolis metro station will be closed].
However there seems to be a hide-and-seek game with Angela’s landing and take off program as well with her meetings with Samaras and Papoulias.
Merkel’s Program: She will first meet Samaras. Both leaders will hold a press conference and proceed for lunch at Dionysos restaurant. She will meet Papoulias at 04:45 p.m. Later she will go to Hilton Hotel, join a meeting organized by the Greek-German Chamber of Commerce and depart when the conference concludes.
PS for those who might think we have a war or dictatorship tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. … it will be just the exercise of Civilian Defence that will have sirens in operation! According to Civilian Defense announcement the sirens will be in operation at 11 am for 60 seconds and at 11:05 am for 60 seconds. “It’s just a test. No need for panic or confusion,” the statement read. A sirens test on the day where Merkel arrives and the downtown Athens s being declared into a ‘red zone’? Are you nuts, guys?
UPDATE: according to unconfirmed reports, the sirens exercise scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed.
I will be in Athens tomorrow at 11:00 in the morning, can i go to the central Athens with a taxi. And this area in red is not allowed for everyone? And where there will some protests.
it depents where you want to go in central Athens. better on foot.
If that woman had an ounce of decency or brains in her, she would make a u-turn now and stay away. The amount of money she is costing the Greek people with this madness is simply outrageously disgusting, and to be honest, she isn’t worth one red cent of it!
that’s what I wanted to post later: why do we have to pay to much money for her?
Because it is an age old custom to protect guests at all costs? OK, I agree, that might sound a bit rich coming from a guy living near Sparta. http://youtu.be/QkWS9PiXekE LOL
The term “guest” implies there is a desire to have that particular person as company because you like, appreciate and respect them. And then of course you look after them as well as you can.
Merkel, liked? Appreciated? Respected?
sorry for stealing your thunder 🙂
The amount of money wasted on this unwanted visit by an unwelcome individual is probably 10 times more than the cutback imposed on the hospital for the mentally ill in Dromokaitio.
Cutback triggered by policies devised by and imposed on behalf of that same individual.
I even find it hard to refer to Merkel as “woman”, simply because it would equate her to my mother and all the ordinary, normal women in the world. And that is the kind of respect Merkel most definitely does not deserve.
And on the threat of painful death, I have been ordered to include the wife, daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters in the “normal women of the world” … Let the records show this has been rectified, please!
…and that situation was, if I read the KTG-post correctly, going on for 10 years already. Has everything to do with the failings of the Greek state and society that has it’s roots far deeper than this crisis.
And demonizing someone has never solved anything. You know as well as I do that those policies are never devised by one individual in any democracy. When Merkel would fall ill tomorrow nothing really would change. Wouldn’t it? It’s a childish over simplification that serves only to obscure the real problems. And attacking her on her gender is more than childish and in my mind very disrespectful for any woman. If it’s your mother or anyone’s mother, sister or daughter.
Greece would save a fair whack of money it can put to much better use than protecting the masthead of everything that is wrong with Europe.
The attitude displayed by Merkel, and her extremely offensive slap in the face the Greek people will get tomorrow have nothing to do with Greek history. It has everything to do with the self centered policies of the individual involved. Anybody who puts themselves forward as the champion for all that is wrong in Europe, and come out with the crap like “my heart bleeds for the Greek people etc” as this individual does, thoroughly deserves all the abuse it gets, and more.
Well, it is her money to spend isn’t it? lol
yes, she brings the money Athens will spend to protect her in a suitcase.
I fear, that there are terrible things happening in the background of Greece.
Merkel´s visit is one of the last tries to stabilize the Democracy in Greece!
But most of he Greece are incited, they aren´t able to see the truth. Merkel isn´t the problem. So they will not do the right things.
This is sad
Merkel is very much the problem, and this has nothing to do with stabilizing democracy in Greece. If that was the intention, then why the totally undemocratic international interference in the sovereign elections a few months ago??
Merkel has deliberately made herself the face of austerity, she is the masthead of everything that is wrong, corrupt and criminal about vulture capitalism.
As somebody else said, she is not the problem because she’s German, she’s the problem because she’s wrong. And millions of people are paying for that with their livelihood.
You do know that in the non-Anglo-Saxon world the Prime Minister has often far less powers then in your neck of the woods, don’t you? The German Chancellor is much more a Primus inter pares who has no great powers over her ministers. Merkel is the talking head of a collective. In that capacity it is fine to channel anger toward her. But Schäuble’s opinions are much more important then hers. If she would step down today (Athens would be a great place to announce that 😆 ) there need not even be elections in Germany. The same coalition could go on with just another Chancellor. Same policies, same parties, different people.
This has nothing to do with Merkel being German. This has everything to do with Merkel being wrong. I like the analogy with the “talking head”
If only she would talk through her head instead of…. we might get somewhere.
And Herr Schauble, yes indeed. He is most definitely part of the corrupt elite, and proven to be. He is as corrupt as Akis Tsochatzopoulos. He didn’t accept as much in bribery as good old Akis (not that we know off anyway), but Schauble was in fact replaced as party head by Merkel after being bribed by the Canadian guy. And remember, once bought, a man stays bought. He is most definitely the last one to talk about Greek corruption. He is the right one to ensure the show goes on!