Pro-government rally held in Greek capital Athens
Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Greek capital Athens in a show of support for their newly elected anti-austerity government.
Demonstrators stood in front of the parliament on Wednesday, brandishing banners reading “Bankrupt but Free” and “Stop Austerity, Support Greece, Change Europe.”
Newly elected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tweeted a picture from the rally, saying, “In the cities of Greece and Europe the people are fighting the negotiation battle. They are our strength.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was singled out by the demonstrators for leading demands for Greece to uphold the promises made by its former government in relation to a bailout deal.
“We’re here to support our government’s decision. We are against austerity and the bailout. You can’t live on 500 euros a month. We hate Merkel because Germany is responsible for the crisis here,” said a protester.
Similar demonstrations were also to be held in Brussels, at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt and some other European countries.
The protests took place as the Greek government was holding tough negotiations with eurozone partners in Brussels.
Greece nearly went bankrupt in 2010. It survived, however, on international rescue packages. Athens has received 240 billion euros (USD 270 billion) in international loans in return for imposing austerity measures.