Into the Lion’s Den

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http://Athens%20was%20on%20lockdown%20Tuesday%20for%20the%20landmark%20visit%20of%20Angela%20Merkel%20to%20Greece%20--%20the%20first%20time%20the%20German%20chancellor%20has%20been%20to%20%20the%20financially%20stricken%20country%20since%20the%20debt%20crisis%20erupted%20almost%20three%20years%20ago.%20%20Since%20then,%20she's%20become%20a%20hated%20figure%20to%20many%20Greeks,%20seen%20as%20the%20driver%20of%20the%20austerity%20%20measures%20that%20have%20forced%20wrenching%20economic%20reforms.%20%20%20%20%20%20%20On%20Tuesday,%20some%2025,000%20union%20and%20opposition%20party%20protesters%20%20massed%20in%20the%20capital%20to%20protest%20against%20her%20visit,%20many%20comparing%20her%20to%20a%20Hitler%20and%20waving%20Nazi%20flags.%20Thousands%20of%20police%20fanned%20%20out%20across%20Athens%20to%20create%20a%20safety%20zone,%20in%20which%20no%20protesters%20were%20allowed,%20%20for%20Merkel's%20meetings%20with%20Prime%20Minister%20Antonis%20Samaras%20and%20President%20Carolos%20%20Papoulias.%20During%20the%20meetings,%20Merkel%20acknowledged%20the%20suffering%20taking%20%20place%20in%20Greece%20as%20a%20result%20of%20the%20reforms,%20but%20maintained%20that%20they%20were%20%20necessary%20to%20put%20the%20country%20back%20on%20the%20path%20toward%20prosperity.%20Here,%20we%20take%20a%20look%20atsome%20of%20the%20most%20radical%20protesters%20waiting%20to%20greet%20the%20chancellor.%20%20%20%20%20%20Above,%20a%20protester%20holds%20a%20placard%20of%20%20Merkel%20%20%20featuring%20an%20Adolf%20Hitler%20moustache%20near%20the%20Greek%20parliament%20in%20Athens%20during%20a%20%20demonstration%20against%20her%20visit%20on%20Oct.%209.

Athens was on lockdown Tuesday for the landmark visit of Angela Merkel to Greece -- the first time the German chancellor has been to the financially stricken country since the debt crisis erupted almost three years ago. Since then, she's become a hated figure to many Greeks, seen as the driver of the austerity measures that have forced wrenching economic reforms.

On Tuesday, some 25,000 union and opposition party protesters massed in the capital to protest against her visit, many comparing her to a Hitler and waving Nazi flags. Thousands of police fanned out across Athens to create a safety zone, in which no protesters were allowed, for Merkel's meetings with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and President Carolos Papoulias. During the meetings, Merkel acknowledged the suffering taking place in Greece as a result of the reforms, but maintained that they were necessary to put the country back on the path toward prosperity. Here, we take a look atsome of the most radical protesters waiting to greet the chancellor.

Above, a protester holds a placard of Merkel featuring an Adolf Hitler moustache near the Greek parliament in Athens during a demonstration against her visit on Oct. 9.

http:// %20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20To%20address%20security%20concerns%20before%20Merkel's%20visit,%20at%20least%207,000%20police%20officers%20were%20deployed%20in%20the%20capital,%20one%20of%20the%20largest%20security%20deployments%20in%20decades,%20according%20to%20the%20BBC.%20Above,%20a%20protester%20throws%20a%20bottle%20towards%20riot%20police%20outside%20a%20%20barrier%20erected%20to%20protect%20the%20Greek%20parliament.

 

To address security concerns before Merkel's visit, at least 7,000 police officers were deployed in the capital, one of the largest security deployments in decades, according to the BBC. Above, a protester throws a bottle towards riot police outside a barrier erected to protect the Greek parliament.

http://At%20a%20joint%20press%20conference%20with%20the%20premier,%20Merkel%20acknowledged%20anger%20in%20Greece,%20saying,%20"I%20have%20come%20here%20today%20in%20full%20knowledge%20that%20the%20period%20Greece%20is%20living%20through%20right%20now%20is%20an%20extremely%20difficult%20one%20for%20the%20Greeks%20and%20many%20people%20are%20suffering."%20Greece%20is%20preparing%20for%20$17%20billion%20in%20additional%20budget%20cuts%20in%20order%20to%20qualify%20for%20more%20bailout%20funds%20from%20the%20EU.%20%20%20%20%20%20%20Above,%20Samaras%20welcomes%20Merkel%20before%20%20their%20meeting. 

At a joint press conference with the premier, Merkel acknowledged anger in Greece, saying, "I have come here today in full knowledge that the period Greece is living through right now is an extremely difficult one for the Greeks and many people are suffering." Greece is preparing for $17 billion in additional budget cuts in order to qualify for more bailout funds from the EU.

Above, Samaras welcomes Merkel before their meeting. 

http:// %20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20The%20visit%20comes%20as%20a%20new%20IMF%20report%20stated%20that%20Greece%20would%20miss%20its%20debt-reduction%20target%20in%20five%20years%20despite%20the%20harsh%20austerity%20measures.%20Merkel,%20however,%20continued%20to%20support%20the%20current%20plan,%20saying,%20"I%20am%20convinced%20that%20the%20path,%20which%20is%20a%20difficult%20path,%20will%20lead%20to%20success."%20%20%20%20%20%20%20Above,%20protesters%20place%20Nazi%20flags%20on%20a%20fence%20in%20front%20of%20the%20parliament%20before%20burning%20them%20during%20a%20demonstration.

 

The visit comes as a new IMF report stated that Greece would miss its debt-reduction target in five years despite the harsh austerity measures. Merkel, however, continued to support the current plan, saying, "I am convinced that the path, which is a difficult path, will lead to success."

Above, protesters place Nazi flags on a fence in front of the parliament before burning them during a demonstration.

http://Despite%20an%20official%20ban%20on%20protests,%20demonstrations%20ranged%20from%20the%20thousands%20who%20crowded%20the%20capital%20to%20a%20strike%20by%20civil%20servants.%20Here,%20a%20protester%20stands%20in%20front%20of%20riot%20police%20near%20the%20%20parliament.

Despite an official ban on protests, demonstrations ranged from the thousands who crowded the capital to a strike by civil servants. Here, a protester stands in front of riot police near the parliament.

http://Dozens%20of%20the%20protesters%20were%20detained%20by%20police,%20who%20also%20fired%20stun%20grenades%20at%20the%20demonstrators.%20Police%20were%20reportedly%20also%20prepared%20to%20use%20water%20cannons%20on%20the%20protesters%20if%20needed.The%20last%20security%20operation%20of%20a%20comparable%20scale%20in%20Athens%20was%20in%201999,%20when%20President%20Bill%20Clinton%20visited%20amid%20protests%20over%20NATO%20bombing%20in%20the%20former%20Yugoslavia,%20according%20to%20the%20New%20York%20Times. %20%20%20%20%20%20%20Above,%20protesters%20hold%20an%20anti-German%20banner%20depicting%20a%20bloody%20swastika.

Dozens of the protesters were detained by police, who also fired stun grenades at the demonstrators. Police were reportedly also prepared to use water cannons on the protesters if needed.The last security operation of a comparable scale in Athens was in 1999, when President Bill Clinton visited amid protests over NATO bombing in the former Yugoslavia, according to the New York Times

Above, protesters hold an anti-German banner depicting a bloody swastika.

http://While%20in%20Athens,%20Merkel%20announced%20the%20beginning%20of%20two%20EU-funded%20projects%20to%20help%20with%20administration%20and%20health%20care%20in%20Greece%20--%20but%20the%20comments%20did%20little%20to%20assuage%20her%20critics.%20%20%20%20%20%20%20Here,%20protesters%20line%20up%20hours%20before%20Merkel's%20arrival,%20holding%20anti-German%20banners.

While in Athens, Merkel announced the beginning of two EU-funded projects to help with administration and health care in Greece -- but the comments did little to assuage her critics.

Here, protesters line up hours before Merkel's arrival, holding anti-German banners.

http:// %20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20Above,%20a%20protester%20runs%20from%20police.

 

Above, a protester runs from police.

http://The%20EU%20and%20the%20IMF%20have%20sent%20almost%20$200%20billion%20in%20bailout%20funds%20to%20Greece,%20but%20the%20harsh%20austerity%20measures%20that%20were%20demanded%20in%20return%20have%20soured%20many%20Greeks%20on%20the%20deal.%20Above,%20protesters%20try%20to%20move%20a%20fence%20protecting%20%20the%20parliament.

The EU and the IMF have sent almost $200 billion in bailout funds to Greece, but the harsh austerity measures that were demanded in return have soured many Greeks on the deal. Above, protesters try to move a fence protecting the parliament.

http://Here,%20a%20man%20in%20chains%20and%20carrying%20a%20wooden%20cross%20saying%20"Greece%20%20wake%20up"%20walks%20down%20the%20street%20during%20a%20protest%20in%20Thessaloniki,%20Greece's%20second-largest%20city.

Here, a man in chains and carrying a wooden cross saying "Greece wake up" walks down the street during a protest in Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city.

http://Here,%20a%20man%20passes%20posters%20in%20Thessaloniki%20saying%20"No%20to%20%20the%204th%20Reich"%20and%20calling%20on%20Greeks%20to%20protest%20against%20Merkel.

Here, a man passes posters in Thessaloniki saying "No to the 4th Reich" and calling on Greeks to protest against Merkel.

http://A%20protester%20throws%20an%20object%20at%20riot%20police%20protecting%20the%20%20parliament%20in%20Athens.

A protester throws an object at riot police protecting the parliament in Athens.

http://A%20protester%20clashes%20with%20riot%20police%20near%20Syntagma%20Square.

A protester clashes with riot police near Syntagma Square.

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