To get the ball rolling on the next instalment of Greece's bailout payment, yesterday Athens welcomed a bunch of European Union finance ministers. Naturally, this brought out the anti-austerity protesters, who hate the policies that the EU has forced upon Greece as a condition of the bailout. While police barred demonstrators from certain parts of the capital—including Syntagma Square, which has been the center of recent anti-austerity mayhem—private-sector union GSEE and its public-sector counterpart ADEDY still gathered in the Propylaea area on Tuesday evening. The All Worker's Militant Front did the same in Omonoia Square.
As expected, minor clashes between the police and protesters livened up the festivities, while party favors included a few helpings of tear gas. Germany's prime minister, Angela Merkel, is expected to also visit Athens on April 11, so if you think about it the whole night can be seen as a dress rehearsal for that.
The demonstration, a bailout payment of 8.3 billion euros [$11.4 billion] was approved. According to Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, an initial sum of 6.3 billion euros will be paid at the end of April, with two more payments of 1 billion euros to be made in June and July.