Chancellor Merkel of Germany to visit Greece next week
Source: USA Today
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Greece next week for the first time since the debt crisis erupted to meet the country's prime minister — who warned Friday that Athens will run out of money at the end of November if it doesn't receive the next part of its bailout loans.
Because Germany has been instrumental in pushing Greece to make austerity cuts in exchange for its bailout loans, Merkel has routinely been the object of anger at public protests in Athens. Her photograph has been manipulated by Greek newspapers to look like a Nazi officer and a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said Merkel's visit on Tuesday was good news. "We will receive her as befits the leader of a great power and a friendly country," he told reporters in Athens.
But Greece's main labor unions were swift to call a protest rally outside Parliament on Tuesday against "the neoliberal policies of Mrs. Merkel and the European Union's core leadership," and a three-hour work stoppage in Athens to facilitate participation.
The unions said in a statement that "workers, pensioners and unemployed people can take no more of the European Union's punitive policies."