Tight Security in Athens for Angela Merkel’s Visit



Greek authorities have banned demonstrations near the Parliament and the Prime Minister’s residence during the two-day visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which begins on Thursday.

Rallies organized by leftist groups will be confined to areas far removed from Syntagma Square.

More than 2,000 police officers are on duty, including snipers. Police helicopters and drones will follow the Chancellor’s every move in the Greek capital.

Merkel will meet with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday evening. They are expected to make joint statements to the press after the meeting.

On Friday, the Chancellor will meet with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. Later in the day, she will visit the German School of Athens and will meet with Greek artists, scientists and intellectuals as well as with representatives of German and Greek companies.

The German chancellor will also meet with the leader of the Greek main opposition New Democracy (ND) Party’s Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“Greece has made great progress”

In a statement to Kathimerini newspaper on the eve of her visit, Merkel said that Greece has made great progress with the completion of its third adjustment program last year, and this should be a motivation for the future.

She acknowledged that “the past few years have been very difficult for many people in Greece.”

She noted that Europe has displayed solidarity with Greece with three support programs, while backing its efforts to achieve fiscal and economic stability.

Merkel added that Germany remains committed to supporting these efforts.