Germany: Protests, opposition against Greece deal spreads

Supporters of Die Linke (The Left) demonstrate in front of the Federal Chancellery, Berlin.

Protests took place in 14 cities in Germany on July 16 against the German government’s aggressive treatment of the Greek crisis and in solidarity with their European Mediterranean neighbours.

The next day, more than 60 lawmakers from Germany’s Die Linke (The Left) party voted against the proposal for further austerity for Greece on July 17. They accused the German government of “destroying Europe” by forcing Greece to accept hard-hitting austerity measures required by the eurozone for a third bailout deal.

Despite strong left opposition, the majority of the German Bundestag (parliament) voted to back Chancellor Angela Merkel's proposal for a further US$93.5 billion bailout deal for Greece.

Die Linke’s parliamentary group leader Gregor Gysi said the plan will continue the damage the previous austerity measures imposed on Greece: “You have to decrease wages, you have to decrease pensions … this completely wrong programme has lead to the reduction of the economic output, to the reduction of tax revenue/income everywhere, and is now to be continued.”

Gysi accused Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble of having blackmailed the Greek government.

Support for Greece has grown in Germany in recent days with protests across the country. Thousands have taken to the streets to reject the government's aggressive treatment of the Greek crisis, in solidarity with their European neighbors.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg on July 15, waving Greek flags and banners with the word “Oxi,” meaning “no” in Greek, and vowed to return every Wednesday until a new deal is struck.

“I'm furious with these criminals,” a Greek teacher who has lived in Germany all her life told The Guardian. “I don't want my taxes supporting this criminal coup.”

“Many Germans feel ashamed by what the German government is doing at the moment,” said a spokesperson for anti-austerity protest group Blockupy, Hannah Eberle, adding: “We want everybody to see the other face of Europe. A face of solidarity.”

[Compiled from TeleSUR English.]

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