Greek protesters target German diplomat

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Greek protesters target German diplomat

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Anti-German feeling in Greece got personal in Thessaloniki when the German consul came under attack from Greek workers.

They threw bottles of water at Wolfgang Hoelscher-Obermaier as he went to a meeting of officials from both countries.

Riot police used batons and tear gas to try to contain the crowd of around 250 municipal employees, but a group of protesters managed to break through and storm the building.

They were particularly angry at comments made on Wednesday by another senior German official who implied that his countrymen were three times more efficient than Greek workers.

Many people in Greece, exhausted by years of austerity and recession, blame the German government for forcing more belt-tightening in exchange for emergency rescue funds.

The EU and the IMF have demanded more public sector job cuts as a precondition for a second bailout of 130-billion euros.