Daily Israel Report

Nazi Flags and Swastikas Wave Amid Protests over Merkel's Visit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Greece Tuesday as tens of thousands of protestors rallied against her visit.
By Annie Lubin
First Publish: 10/9/2012, 6:04 PM

Tens of thousands turned out to protest Merkel's visit to Greece
Tens of thousands turned out to protest Merkel's visit to Greece
Reuters

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Greece Tuesday, as tens of thousands of protestors rallied against her visit, waving Nazi flags and swastikas to show their anger towards her over the hardship their country is suffering.

Protestors defied a ban on rallying and gathered in the city's square as they held banners that read "Merkel out, Greece is not your colony" and "This is not a European Union, it's slavery".

Tear gas flew as rioters clashed with police, erupting in applause and cheers as a small truck paraded two protestors in full Nazi uniform as protestors called for Merkel to go back to Germany. 

The police used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the protesters, who attempted to break through a barrier and reach the Chancellor. Some demonstrators threw stones, bottles and sticks at the police. The riots grew so intense that police were forced to deploy 6,000 officers to the scene, including anti-terrorist units and snipers. 

According to official sources, dozens were arrested during the riots.

This is Merkel's first visit to Greece since the economic crisis broke out in the country three years ago. Many, rather than blaming their government for the crisis, blame Merkel for the way in which the crisis was handled in the European Union, causing - they claim - the present harsh economic situation in Greece.  Germany, a leading member of the European Union, forced huge cuts to Greece's budget in exchange for two bailouts despite pleas for more time.