- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Merkel gets hostile reception on Greek visit
Question of the Day
More than 7,000 police had cordoned off parks and other sections of city to keep demonstrators away from the German leader.
As a helicopter buzzed overhead, thousands of protesters chanting, “History is written by the disobedient,” gathered in front of Greek parliament. One group of demonstrators burned a swastika and threw it onto a police barrier, while a group of special forces reservists appeared in uniform and chanted, “Merkel out of Greece,” in time to their march.
“I have no doubt that (Mrs. Merkel) has good intentions and wants to help, but that won’t solve Europe’s problem,” retired teacher Irini Kourdaki said. “Europe is polarized and … we need a major change in policy.”
Mrs. Merkel’s visit followed a subtle shift in political rhetoric in Germany toward the Greeks, with the chancellor repeating her desire to keep Greece in the eurozone and urging political allies to refrain from public criticism of the Athens government. It appeared that a goal of the trip was to affirm her support for Mr. Samaras as Germany’s best bet to see through painful structural reforms that the Germans believe are necessary if Greece is to regain economic stability.
That was a marked difference with the tone of statements made last summer, when some Merkel allies were openly dismissive of the Greeks for alleged economic mismanagement. Some politicians even suggested that Greece’s departure from the common currency would not produce the economic shock that many fear.
The visit was also likely aimed at preventing the opposition Social Democrats from criticizing her for allegedly failing to display strong personal leadership in the euro crisis in the run-up to national elections expected in about a year.
Mr. Merkel told reporters in Athens that the troika report was “taking longer than was originally thought.”
“But it’s better to deal with problems in detail that to try and address them quickly,” she said.
A senior Greek government official said rescue creditors had given the country a list of about 90 structural reforms to be approved immediately so that the vital next loan installment could be paid sometime next month.
AP writers in Berlin and AP television and photography staff in Athens contributed to this article.
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Michael Moore, movie-making critic of capitalism, has nine homes
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq