The Greeks are revolting again: German flag burned on the streets as they react angrily to historic Eurozone deal
By Daniel Miller
Last updated at 5:58 PM on 28th October 2011
First came the cartoons of Chancellor Merkel dressed up in a Nazi uniform.
Now angry Greeks are venting their fury over austerity measures being introduced as a result of their country's debt crisis by burning the German flag.
Thousands of anti-austerity protesters flocked into Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city forcing the cancellation of an annual military parade commemorating the nation's entry into the Second World War.
The demonstrators heckled President Karolos Papoulias and other attending officials, calling him a traitor, and some anarchists spat at retired military officers.
In several other Greek cities, officials were heckled but most of the commemorative parades went ahead as scheduled.
The protests came two days after Europe's leaders announced a strengthened financial rescue plan that includes bigger write-downs of Greek debt and new injections of capital into weakened European banks.
Greeks are furious at the deal, even though it means the banks will write off 50 per cent of the country’s debt and Socialist prime minister George Papandreou said Greece had ‘avoided a mortal national danger’.
In Thessaloniki, the protesters blocked the parade route, forcing police to intervene and protect the officials' stand until it was evacuated.
After waiting in the parade stand for about 30 minutes, Mr Papoulias left, but not before launching a broadside against the protesters.
'When I was 15, I fought against Nazism and the German occupiers. Who are they calling me a traitor? Shame on them,' he told reporters.
Mr Papoulias, 82, joined the Greek resistance in 1944, during the last months of the three-year German occupation.
The protesters included leftists, anarchists, neo-Nazis, people fed up with the government's austerity policies, and fans of the local soccer club Iraklis, which was pushed out of the top division because of financial irregularities.
Asked if the protesters were justified, given the government's biting austerity measures and Greece's deep recession, Papoulias said the demonstrators represented 'a small minority'.Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2054779/The-Greeks-revolting-German-flag-burned-streets-react-angrily-historic-Eurozone-deal.html
'The great mass of the people accept all these austerity measures that hit the weakest because they hope for a better day, when we will overcome the crisis and clean our house,' Papoulias said.
A student parade through Athens commemorating the day ended without a major incident.Bbut some protesters carried banners with slogans such as 'No to the selling out of the country,' and 'Merkel equals Hitler,' referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who played a big role in negotiating the new euro-nation rescue plan.
The demonstrators were condemned by the government and the conservative opposition, but justified by some leftist parties.
"Le 10 [septembre 1922], la foule qui remplit les grandes artères d'Izmir, acclame Mustafa Kemal qui arrive, à 14 heures, de Nif, dans sa vieille voiture décapotable décorée de branches d'olivier. Le maréchal accompagné de Fevzi et d'Ismet, porte, comme d'habitude, un habit militaire tout simple où rien n'indique son grade. Lorsqu'il arrive devant la Préfecture où l'on a aménagé un bureau pour lui, il est surpris de voir un drapeau grec étalé sur les marches. On lui explique que le roi Constantin était entré dans cet édifice en piétinant un drapeau turc. Il refuse d'imiter le souverain grec : « Enlevez cela immédiatement. Un drapeau est le symbole de l'honneur d'une nation. Nul n'a le droit de l'humilier ! »." (Georges Daniel, Atatürk : une certaine idée de la Turquie, Paris, L'Harmattan, 2000, p. 166)