• Germany's news in English
 
Greece boosts police force for Merkel visit
Photo: DPA

Greece boosts police force for Merkel visit

Published: 08 Oct 2012 09:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Oct 2012 09:49 GMT+02:00

Greek media reported that the German embassy and the Goethe Institute will receive additional protection.

Relations between Greece and Europe's effective paymaster Germany have been strained, with Merkel blamed in Athens for imposing austerity at all costs and the Greeks criticised in Berlin for not keeping promises.

On Sunday, government and opposition parties described the chancellor's visit to Greece as a chance to show solidarity and recognition of its efforts.

Merkel's trip to Athens is "an act of recognition for the Greek government which is under great pressure with its reform policy," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.

The minister, who is from the Free Democratic Party (FDP), a junior partner in the centre-right coalition, told Monday's Bild newspaper that the Greeks had earned "fairness and respect."

For his part, the FDP's parliamentary chief, Rainer Brüderle, told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the chancellor's visit was "a clear sign of our solidarity with Greece."

Politicians from the opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Greens struck a similar tone ahead of the visit, Merkel's first to Greece since the eurozone debt crisis ignited nearly three years ago.

Merkel must make it clear that "we are helping out of mutual interest and not as a rich uncle who knows everything better," European Parliament president Martin Schulz, an SPD member, told the Leipziger Volkszeitung.

Late Sunday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, told public television channel ZDF that the point of Merkel's visit was not to weigh in on what the "troika" must decide, referring to Greece's international creditors, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union.

The group must approve spending cuts necessary to unblock a €31.5 billion installment from Greece's second EU-IMF rescue package.

"The troika must say if Greece is or isn't fulfilling its obligations," Schäuble said.

The Green party's parliamentary group leader Jürgen Trittin meanwhile urged Merkel in the Welt am Sonntag to make clear to the Greeks that "they can count on European solidarity on the hard path ahead of them."

Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday the message she would take to Athens would be that "we want to help Greece stabilise itself within the eurozone."

"We are doing that by massively contributing to the two aid packages that are supposed to help Greece come out of the crisis," he said, stressing that aid was possible only if Greece stuck to the austerity cuts demanded by international creditors.

Nevertheless, he said Berlin saw greater efforts being made under Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

AFP/DPA/jcw/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

05:22 October 9, 2012 by sonriete
Syria will need a bailout from Germany also once their troubles are over.
Today's headlines
Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin
Swan Lake. An abandoned ride in the Spreewald pleasure park. Photo: DPA

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin

The iconic ruined themepark in the centre of Berlin - a long-time favourite of hipster adventurers - needs a clean-up costing at least 14 million euros, the Berlin government has revealed. READ  

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer
File photo of Nuremberg main station: Shutterstock

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer

Officers in Nuremberg arrested a man on Thursday evening after he called in a false bomb threat against the main train station READ  

Opinion
Angela, David...and Nigel
So near...and yet so far Photo: DPA

Angela, David...and Nigel

The rise of UKIP broke up what had been a good 2014 for Cameron and Merkel. READ  

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead
Dr Gunther von Hagens. Photo: DPA

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech
Photo: Phorms Education

Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech

As parents fret over children’s internet habits, a network of bilingual schools in Germany shows that putting computers in the classroom from an early age yields positive results. READ  

Networks scramble to patch mobile security
Chancellor Angela Merkel has herself been the victim of phone hacking. Photo: DPA

Networks scramble to patch mobile security

IT experts led by Berlin-based Karsten Nohl said on Thursday they had discovered security flaws in the mobile phone networks that would allow attackers to read users' messages. READ  

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport
Photo: DPA

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport

Three men suspected of being Turkish agents have been arrested by police, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. READ  

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is having an excellent month. Photo: DPA

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November

Germany collected 7.3 percent more in tax in November 2014 than the same month last year thanks to the strengthening economy, the Finance Ministry said in its monthly report on Thursday, while pollsters found rising consumer confidence. READ  

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting
Bodo Ramelow looking low on energy at a sitting of the Thuringia state parliament. Photo: DPA

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting

Controversial new Thuringia minister-president Bodo Ramelow of the Left (Linke) party missed his first session of Germany's second house of parliament, the Bundesrat, to go on holiday with his family. READ  

'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP
Edathy preparing to face questions in Berlin Photo: DPA

'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP

A former rising star of German politics who resigned after pictures of naked children were allegedly found on his official laptop said Thursday what he did was "wrong, but legal." READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,197
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd