As far as foreign visits go, this can’t be one that Angela Merkel is looking forward to. The German Chancellor and Eurozone dynamo is due in Athens later today – her first visit to Greece since the debt crisis erupted there in 2009.
“Don’t cry Angela,” urged one banner, “there is nothing left in the cupboard for you to take.”
Extensive security preparations are underway for the six-hour visit on Tuesday afternoon. 6,000 police are on duty as well as anti-terrorist units and rooftop snipers. Gatherings are banned in the centre of the capital.
“We are not against the German people,” said Kostas Tsikrikas, “but we are against the hardline policies put together by the strong EU members, led by Germany.”
The Greek economy has shrunk by a fifth since 2008. Private sector unemployment stands at a record 24 percent, while state workers have lost a third of their income.