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BBC World Service

Germans protest Greece’s resistance to austerity measures

Steve Evans Jun 29, 2011
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BBC World Service

Germans protest Greece’s resistance to austerity measures

Steve Evans Jun 29, 2011
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: We’re gonna be reporting a lot on Greece today. The protests in the streets, that’re likely to get overheated again. And all in the wake of today’s parliamentary vote on major budget cutbacks.

Now let’s continue with how the debt crisis is affecting other countries. In Germany, leaders support a package to help Greece. But on the streets of Berlin, the average German isn’t quite so supportive.

The BBC’s Steve Evans reports.


STEVE EVANS: German tax-payers tightened their belts after the great financial crash. Cuts included lower pay for public workers and fewer hours of paid work.

Now, the Germans are being asked to pay more than any other country to help bailout Greece. And yet, the Greeks are balking at making tough cuts themselves and are lashing out at the Germans.

Hans-Olaf Henkel, former head of the Association of German Industry, says the Germans resent the situation.

HANS-OLAF HENKEL: They share the highest burden for the bail out packages. And on the other hand they are now the most hated nation. That conflict really disturbs us.

You can see this German anger expressed on the pages of Bild, the country’s most widely-read newspaper. The newspaper published a poster from the streets of Greece that showed Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel likened to the Nazis.

In Berlin, I’m the BBC’s Steve Evans, for Marketplace.

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