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Athens Celebrated Its New Bailout Payment With a Riot

Defying a protest ban, the clashes were a dress rehearsal for demonstrations expected when Angela Merkel visits the Greek capital next week.

by Dimitris Michalakis
Apr 2 2014, 2:35pm

Photo by Dimitris Michalakis

This article originally appeared on VICE Greece.

To get the ball rolling on the next installment of Greece's bailout, Athens yesterday welcomed a bunch of European Union finance ministers. Although Greek police had barred demonstrators from certain parts of the capital — including Syntagma Square, which has been the centre of recent anti-austerity mayhem — members of the private sector union GSEE and its public sector counterpart ADEDY still gathered in the Propilaia area on Tuesday evening. The All-Workers Militant Front did the same in Omonoia square.

As expected, clashes between the police and protesters livened up the festivities — party favors included a few solid doses of tear gas. Angela Merkel is scheduled to visit Athens on April 11th, and the whole night could be seen as a dress rehearsal for that.

Anti-capitalist protesters clashed with police lines in Athens on April 1, the same day that European finance ministers met in the Greek capital amid tight security.

Finally, a bailout payment of 8.3 billion euros ($11.4 billion) was approved. A first tranche of 6.3 billion euros will be paid at the end of April, with two payments of 1 billion euros coming in June and July.

Photos by Dimitris Michalakis