Merkel to visit Athens amidst planned protests

Posted Oct 6, 2012 by Katerina Nikolas
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to make her first visit to Athens on Tuesday for talks with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Merkel, an unpopular figure in Greece, will be met by protests.
Tuesday marks Angela Merkel's first visit to Athens since becoming German Chancellor. Recently Merkel has expressed her support for Greece remaining in the eurozone, saying "I want Greece to stay in the eurozone and that’s what I’m working for."
Ekathimerini reported Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said: "The trip comes against the backdrop of this very difficult situation that Greece is going through right now, the massive adjustment and reform measures that have shaped Greece for the past two years. We see that the reform efforts have increased under the Samaras government and we want to support that.”
Antonis Samaras has welcomed the prospect of Merkel's visit, saying it was "very positive."
The FT reported Merkel will meet with coalition party leaders Evangelos Veizelos and Fotis Kouvelis, but not with main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras of the extreme-left SYRIZA.
While Antonis Samaras prepares to welcome Merkel, news of her impending visit has given rise to planned protests. SYRIZA announced it will stage an anti-austerity protest during Merkel's visit.
Aleka Papariga, leader of the Communist KKE party, has called on people to protest the visit of Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying the purpose of her visit is to assist the Greek government.
To Vima reports that the unions GSEE and ADEDY have called a work stoppage to coincide with Merkel's arrival, to protest her policies on Europe.
Golden Dawn released a press statement to mark Merkel's impending visit which reads: "The representative of the European usury system arrives to officially seal and the enslavement of the country and bled the Greek people. Samaras has the audacity to celebrate a bit before handing over 'earth and water' the tyrants of Greece."