Merkel Vows Support for Greece amid Massive ProtestsFinance | October 9, 2012, Tuesday // 18:20| views
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) during a press conference at the Maximos Mansion in Athens Tuesday. EPA/BGNES
Germany and the EU will continue supporting financially troubled Greece, stated German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on an official visit to Athens Tuesday.
Her visit, the first since the start of the financial crisis in the country, spawned large-scale protests in the streets of the Greek capital.
Some 25,000 are estimated to have come out, in spite of authorities banning all rallies during Tuesday out of security concerns.
Protesters, who decry austerity measures, imposed by the government at the behest of EU creditors, clashed with the police, and more than 200 are estimated to have been detained.
On her part, Merkel congratulated the cabinet of Greek PM Antonis Samaras for the implemented reforms, and stated that her country and the EU is resolute in continuing support.
"The hard road is worth the efforts," said she, in contrast to previous statements in which she was critical of the speed of reforms aimed at streamlining spending.
Merkel acknowledged that many Greek citizens are suffering from austerity, but was optimistic in saying that progress is being achieved every single day.
According to her, Greece will eventually become a "European success" which will make the EU stronger and more united.
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