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Protests greet Merkel in Galicia visit

Protests greet Merkel in Galicia visit
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Protests against the German chancellor’s visit to Santiago de Compostela reportedly forced her and the Spanish prime minister to postpone a news conference.

“Merkel and Rajoy out of Galicia” they chanted.

Many in Spain deeply resent government austerity measures they believe were imposed by a German-dominated EU.

Angela Merkel’s two-day visit coincides with the first signs of economic recovery in Spain, despite high unemployment and ongoing hardship.

Mariano Rajoy said reforms were beginning to bear fruit. Merkel said the foundations were now laid for Spain’s economy to improve.

The German leader has backed the Spanish economy minister in his bid to head the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers.

Luis de Guindos, said Merkel, had been an excellent minister in difficult times.

The next Eurogroup president – who will replace the Dutchman Jeroen Dijsselbloem – may be chosen at next weekend’s Brussels summit, when many the EU’s top jobs are likely to be decided.

On Sunday Merkel and Rajoy walked six kilometres of the pilgrimage road to Compostela, the Spanish premier’s birthplace, in a symbolic show of unity.