German Chancellor and Greek PM hail now close ties during Athens visit

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German Chancellor and Greek PM hail now close ties during Athens visitDuring talks with Tsipras, Merkel highlighted how strong initial differences with his left-led government were gradually overcome over the past four years

ATHENS – After demonizing German Chancellor Angela Merkel for insisting on harsh austerity measures for Greeks in return for bailouts, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hailed their now-tight relationship during her Jan. 10-11 visit to the capital.

Unlike those demonstrations, the turnout was markedly smaller this time, with police closing off the downtown streets to keep trouble far away from her and banning protests, some of which developed anyway.

Many Greeks blame Merkel for the austerity they suffered for much of the past decade, which led to a sharp and prolonged recession and a bad deterioration in living standards but weary of fighting, many have given up and even lost their anger against her.

Tsipras, the Radical Left SYRIZA leader who said he would create a Leftist revolution across Europe, reject austerity and defy the country’s lenders and Merkel, has instead cozied up to her and banks that are the alleged ideological enemy of his party.

Out of the two protest marches called by fringe groups against Merkel’s visit, one by the Nazi-inspired far-right Golden Dawn party was canceled. The second, by left-wing groups, had a turnout of only 400 — a few dozen of whom peeled off from the march and briefly broke a police cordon before being driven back with tear gas.

During talks with Tsipras, Merkel highlighted how strong initial differences with his left-led government were gradually overcome over the past four years.

Read more at thenationalherald.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: EU2016 SK

 

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