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Handshakes and protests, Merkel's Greek visit

Handshakes and protests, Merkel's Greek visit
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It has been one of the rockiest relationships in the eurozone, but as German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrapped up her visit to the Greek capital, many saw it as a sign of reconciliation.

However, the feeling wasn’t shared by everyone. Left-wing protests took place not far from the barricaded visit, showing that anger over painful austerity measures championed by Merkel was still rife. In her speech in Athens, Merkel acknowledged the sacrifices made in order to get their finances back on track.

Her visit came just after the country’s debut on the global bond markets after a four year hiatus, and the prime minister said it was the first step to exiting the crisis.

However, with one in four Greeks unemployed, many of those in public service losing their jobs due to bailout inflicted spending cuts, some felt Merkel was dancing on the ruins of Greece.

In Athens euronews reporter Stamatis Giannisis said:

“The German Chancellor came to Athens in a demonstration of support to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his New Democracy center right party ahead of the May European Election. But she also came here in order to remind the Greek coalition government that reforms should continue at steady pace.”