The Police department’s announcement regarding the traffic arrangements to facilitate Ms. Merkel’s visit in Athens reeked of authoritarianism and fuelled the people’s resentment. In a country which has undergone a seven year military dictatorship one should not use phrases like “Gatherings are prohibited (!)”. 7000 policemen are mobilised to “guard” peace in Athens alone! The security measures are compared to those taken during President Clinton’s visit.
Ms. Merkel will have consecutive meetings with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister. The leaders of PASOK and DIMAR will be briefed by Mr. Samaras at a later date. The burning question is why has Ms. Merkel decided to visit Athens and why now.
The most common answer is that the German Chancellor wants to support the Greek government in this difficult phase and mark her trust in the reforms. At first there were high expectations from the Greek government side but they have been lowered due mainly to statements made by high ranking German officials. Now the greatest expectation is that Ms. Merkel’s expression of sympathy will have a positive effect on the markets.
In the meantime, buses are out of operation from 11 to 15.00, the Syntagma, Panepistimio, Evangelismos, Megaro Mousikis and Katehaki metro stations will remain closed the entire day and demonstrators are busy looking for a way to reach Syntagma avoiding the police.
The Independent Greeks’party have moved their demontration from outside the German Embassy to the area around Syntagma.
SYRIZA’s statement stresses that “the massive and peaceful participation in the demonstrations is the dynamic reply of the Greek people to the common plans of the Greek government and the German Chancellor, it will be a loud NO to the new measures rejected by the majority of Greek society”.
Alexis Tsipras, SYRIZA leader, will be at the demonstration accompanied by Mr. Bernd Riexinger, chairman of the Die Linke (The Left) German party.