Nazi flags, furious protests greet Angela Merkel as German leader arrives in Greece
ATHENS — Greek riot police fired stun grenades, pepper spray and tear gas to push back protesters throwing stones and petrol bombs during rallies this morning against visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel arrived in Greece on her first visit since Europe’s debt crisis erupted here three years ago, braving protests to deliver a message of support — but no new money — to a nation hammered by recession and fighting to stay in the euro.
Thousands of Greeks defied a ban on protests, gathering in Syntagma square in central Athens as Merkel’s plane touched down. Two protesters dressed in German military uniforms waved a red-black-and-white swastika flag and held out their arms in the Nazi salute. Merkel was meeting Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras only a few hundred metre away from the clashes, where austerity-weary Greeks are taking to the streets in one of the biggest protests in months. (Photos: REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)