Angela Merkel Arrives In Athens

Tyler Durden's picture

With much fanfare, and as Athens News pointed out, 10 minutes early, the German delegation landed in Athens at 1:20 pm local time, and has brought with it 7,000 part-time Greek police jobs: look for a massive drop in the Greek unemployment rate next month. For the next 6 hours everyone will be praying that the ghost of Gavrilo Princip has not found a new host. In the meantime, the most inexplicable of official visits will take place as Angela Merkel paints the town red (hopefully not literally).

From Kathimerini:

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras arrived at Athens International Airport on Tuesday at around 1 p.m. to officially greet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a red-carpet welcome on what is her first visit to the Greek capital since the start of the crisis three years ago.


The German chancellor is expected to hold brief talks with Samaras, as well as pay a visit to Greek President Karolos Papoulias at the Presidential Mansion. She will then attend an event held by the Greek-German Chamber of Commerce at the Hilton Hotel, before departing for Berlin.


Greek authorities have staged the biggest security operation for a visiting dignitary since US President Bill Clinton visited the capital in 1999, bringing in some 7,000 police officers from other parts of the country, closing all main thoroughfares and placing snipers along Merkel's route, suspending public transport services in downtown Athens and deploying the full force of the riot police in front of Parliament and near the Presidential Mansion, which is just a few hundred meters from the Hilton Hotel.


Meanwhile, a few hundred protesters gathered in front of Parliament in an anti-austerity rally organized by Greece's two largest unions. The rally was reported to be peaceful, though police said that they had taken up to 35 people in custody in the area around Syntagma Square prior to the chancellor's arrival in an effort to control any likely escalation of protests.

And a live blog of all the action via Athens News:

  • 3.05pm Merkel and Samaras have finished their tete a tete and begun a working lunch.
  • 2.50pm TV stations opt to replay and comment on Samaras and Merkel interactions rather than show footage of the protest, while they await the joint press statement at 4pm.  
  • 2.40pm Net commentators debate: what is the symbolic significance of the fact that Merkel is wearing the same outfit she wore to the Greece versus Germany soccer match? 
  • 2.35pm Tsipras says from Syntagma "Merkel came to greece to support the Merkelists of greece. She came to support them, but instead she gave Greece and our allies the chance to say to all that the democratic legacy of europe will not allow Greece to become the lab rat of the crisis." 
  • 2.30pm It's difficult to put a number on the demonstration in central Athens, but eyewitnesses say that Syntagma is pretty full, as is Stadiou St (from where protesters attending the Pame trade union rally are coming), and Amalias Avenue. 

  • 2.25pm There are reports that police detained 40 people by 2pm. One eyewitness, Theodora Oikonomides (@IrateGreek), said she saw police taking 20 schoolgoers into preventative detention in the space of 15 minutes because they were carrying school bags.  
  • 2.27pm One observation we made about the arrival of two leaders at the Maximos Mansion: both opened their own car doors. We're not sure if this is an effect of austerity or an attempt to show a common touch.
  • 2.12pm They are now inside, chit-chatting on the couch. Both spoke in English, with Samaras showing much more proficiency. "This is my office," Samaras said. Responding, Merkel asked where the cabinet met. She's clearly here for business.  


  • 2.10pm Antonis Samaras and Angela Merkel have reached the Megaros Mansion. Doing lots of pointing, Merkel seems very curious to know what's in the area and what the building is. 
  • 2.07pm There was quite a bit of booing at the calvacade as it passed the Erricos Dynan Hospital, some where workers have not been paid for months. According to Skai TV, some water bottles were thrown on the road as the cars passed. Earlier, there were angry scenes as hospital workers, who tried to get onto the road, were pushed back by riot police. 
  • 1.55pm But on the other side of that barrier, there's a massive protest taking place on a thronged Syntagma Square. The country’s main private- and public-sector trade union federations, GSEE and Adedy, called a work stoppage from noon until 3pm and started a protest at 1pm at Syntagma Square, which along with Omonia Square is not included in the “red zone”. The Syriza leader, Alexis Tsipras, and the head of Germnay’s Left Party (Die Linke), Bernd Riexinger, have said they will attend. The Communist-backed Pame union will hold a rally at the same time on Omonia Square. Syntagma and Omonia are not covered by the protest ban.
    The protest extends all the way down Stadiou Street.
    Here's a photo posted to Twitter by Apostolis Fotiadis (@Balkanizator) from Syntagma:
    Here are some more photos from the protests:
  • 1.50pm While waiting for the leaders' arrival at the Maximos Mansion, it's time to take a look at what's going in the centre. Things have come to a standstill in the "red zone" declared by the police in which all demonstrations and gatherings have been banned until 10pm. Here's a photograph showing the steel barrier that police erected to seal off the entrance to parliament and the street on which the prime minister's and president's residences are located:
  • 1.45pm Angela Merkel last visited Greece in July 2007. What's on the schedule for her six-hour visit today? Here's a breakdown:
    • 2.15pm Samaras and Merkel to hold private talks at his official residence, the Maximos Mansion. This will be followed by a press joint press conference and then lunch.
    • 4.45pm Merkel to meet with President Karolos Papoulias
    • 5.30pm Samaras and Merkel will meet with Greek and German business leaders, after which the chancellor will return to Germany
  • 1.41pm The calvacade containing the leaders and entourage has not departed the airport for the drive into Athens.
  • 1.40pm Samaras introduced the chancellor to a number of ministers, including Avramopoulos (foreign), Stournaras (finance) and Hadzidakis (development), and a number of his advisors.
  • 1.34pm And there's the German national anthem, followed by the Greek. Both leaders are looking very serious indeed.
  • 1.32pm The chancellor, wearing an olive green jacket, has disembarked and was greeted on the red carpet by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
  • 1.30pm The place was scheduled to land at 1.30pm, so the Germans have arrived ten minutes early. The door has been opened.
  • 1.20pm The plane carrying the chancellor has just landed at Athens international airport. Shortly after it touched down, the pilots put out small Greek and German flags from the cockpit window.

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vmromk's picture

Come on you fucking Greeks, show the world you have some balls.

Stop these German goosesteppers from ruining your lives.

EnglishMajor's picture

"And there's the German national anthem, followed by the Greek."

That's nice that they still play the Greek national anthem.  When does the ECB get their own anthem?

gold-is-not-dead's picture

as soon as Greeks exit it... :)

btw.. gold in euros, every day new highs ... :)

GetZeeGold's picture



Angie bought it....she owns it....and she's coming to collect.


Popo's picture

Where can we get the LiveCam of Athens being trashed?   This should be an entertaining day of Internet.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture



GetZeeGold's picture



....and your damn dog Toto too.


EscapeKey's picture

Greek austerity is them building only one and not three Formula One curcuits.

What's up next? A motorway from Athens to the Crete ruins of Knossos?

malikai's picture

Perhaps Dr. Krugman would like to opine on this most important fiscal/infrastructure objective.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

If I needed 7000 police + snipers to guard me when I visited a country, I would opt 

for a change of itinerary. I hear Spain is lovely this time of year.

EscapeKey's picture

I don't know why people think there's some sort of magic, painless way for the Greeks to resolve this. There isn't.

If Greece defaults (which they eventually will), they will have to make extremely painful readjustments to live within their means. This will mean a very real decline in living standards.

The alternative is to keep begging the IMF/ECB/whatever concoction of letters for more time/credit, which obviously helps the banks as well.

Lebensphilosoph's picture

Or Jesus descends from the sky upon his magic dragon.

malikai's picture

I never noticed before, but Angela has Blonde hair, Blue eyes.

Rubicon's picture

And a nice pair of shorts.

GetZeeGold's picture



Not surprising considering the breeding program they undertook.


DutchDude's picture

Nothing's gonna happen; Merkel will make a statement about how well the Greek did in these difficult times. That Europe supports Greece in it's struggle to overcome the crisis and free money will flow once again... ah, you get the idea...

blabam's picture

I'm waiting for a killdozer to show up.

Dr. Engali's picture

Maybe a tour through some of the more impoverished areas is in order. Somehow I doubt that's on the agenda, as we wouldn't want the Chancellor seeing the slide to hell that globalism is inflicting on the Greeks.

GetZeeGold's picture



Got your ass junked for that smart ass comment Amigo.


Who is that guy?


AnAnonymous's picture

Globalism has pretty helped Greece as it provided their economy with inputs they would have not had otherwise.

'Americanism' is the cause behind the Greece situation.

The relationship of 'americans' to globalism is once again dictated by the situation.

For the beginning, 'americanism' has been a global project. So 'americans' can not oppose globalism per se.

What they oppose, it is the perceived net they have from globalism.

When the inputs were all consumed on them, 'americans' were cool on globalism.

Current days, they feel some kind of leak in wealth, with wealth inflow no longer being what it used to be, consumption linked to work is pulled out as jobs are outsourced etc

EnglishMajor's picture

80% of Americans can't even spell "globalism", and an even larger percentage would never pay attention to the word unless perhaps a contestant named Reuben Globalism ended up on American Idol.

falak pema's picture

DSK's definition of globalism was very cute; any town that has decent women, who are willing, has to be part of global family of civilized. 

I can't see Mutti getting humped this evening let alone being sniped at in Athens of olive oil and olive branch. 

j0nx's picture

EnglishMajor wins. /thread

StandardDeviant's picture

Blah, blah, blah.

The single note, and the single quotes, are getting tedious.  Give it a rest, would you?

Munkey's picture

Gavrilo Princip, a Jew who affiliated with the Serbian struggle for independence. The truth is stranger than fiction. I doubt we'll see a matrix reloaded of this in Greece.

cossack55's picture

Where the hell are Gregory Peck and David Niven when you REALLY need them?

falak pema's picture

Anthony Quinn stole the show as the sly Greek.

Something tells me there is going to be a repeat! 

TideFighter's picture

Gotta' get myself a Merkel or two, and cruise on down the road!

'Cause I'm crazy about a Merkel, a Troika just won't do.

Olympia's picture


...the barbarians, who forced beautiful Europe to get down Zeus’“back” and made her a prostitute ...the unworthy Europeans, who in 1945 “took Europe down” from “Mount Olympus” and in 2012 relinquished “enslaved” Europe to the Phoenician loan sharks.

Germans are proved to be the easy solution to breach Europe’s door. Whoever wishes to “set foot” on Europe and demolish it, the only thing he has to do is to “fool” the Germans. For a second time in less than fifty years, Europe’s idiots become the victims of foreigners and they serve their interests at the expense of Europe...



The German traitors of Europe along with the Phoenicians from Asia may have forced Europe to get down from the "back” of the Greek “bull”, but it remains to be seen how they shall pull it through with the “bull”.



EscapeKey's picture

Oh sheesh, because it's entirely the Germans fault that Greece runs a primary deficit, and has been in a state of default - what - half of the time since their independence from the Ottoman empire.

Lebensphilosoph's picture

You and all of your Afro-Asiatic 'modern Greek' brothers are not, and never have been, a part of Europe. CHoke on that, you savage.

falak pema's picture

I love te way that "savage" line moves on the world map. US and THEM. Garlic and primrose. 

Don't have nightmares of being gullet-slit by a savage looking for a florin where ever you live; 'cos it could be a fellow teuton or newton of your own ilk. 

That is the spice of life and neither east nor west can change the course of man's destiny; one at a time. 

orangegeek's picture

Out with the soulvlaki.


Schnitzel mit Kartoffeln for everyone.



Neethgie's picture

Merkel is gonna get Franz ferdinand'd 

EscapeKey's picture

I really wish people wouldn't post extremist rubbish like this.

Neethgie's picture

I didn't say i want it to happen, but given the amount of people there its probably a possibility.

rsnoble's picture

Now don't start kissing ass just becuase you have a lot of negative red numbers next to your post. If you won't say it I will: fuck this bitch raw.

obvious_sarcasm's picture

Discussing what mediterranean islands will be collateral for a bailout?

Winston Churchill's picture


Love torchlight rallies in Syntagma Square.

No Euros please we're British's picture

"and placing snipers along Merkel's route"

Hope one of them is a good shot.

PaperBear's picture

“Things have come to a standstill in the "red zone" declared by the police in which all demonstrations and gatherings have been banned until 10pm.”

The leaders will dictate to the people and any of the Greek people who make the ‘mistake’ of thinking they can use the “red zone” to talk with the Greek leadership will be brutally dissuaded of that notion.

The place that gave birth to democracy is waving farewell to democracy.

lolmao500's picture

String the bitch up!

GetZeeGold's picture



Go for it Amigo.....let us know when you're done.