October 10, 2012
Scores of commandos, sailors and paratroopers in their uniforms gathered in Athens on the day of the German Chancellor’s visit – but not to help with keeping the peace. Instead, they staged a march, chanting “Merkel, out of Greece!”
Marching in formation, they also chanted “Together, together, Nazis get out!”
The crowd in the street supported the reservists with rousing cheers. Many of the viewers joined the protesters in their disciplined march.
The demonstration was one of many anti-Merkel protests to hit Athens on Tuesday, as some 50,000 demonstrators took to the streets. The rallies had strong anti-Nazi sentiment. At one occasion demonstrators burned a swastika.
Most of the Tuesday protests went peacefully, but some violence erupted as several dozen demonstrators clashed with police. Around 200 people were detained in the result of the clashes.
Merkel came to Athens for another round of austerity talks with the country’s prime minister. It was her first visit to the country in three years.
Germany has been seen by many Greeks as the main engine behind the drastic austerity program introduced in their country. Public outrage with Berlin and Merkel has been taking curious forms: last October, the streets of Athens were flooded with posters featuring Merkel dressed as a Nazi officer.