Thousands march in Frankfurt against austerity measures

FRANKFURT Sat May 19, 2012 6:21pm EDT

1 of 7. A child stands in front of German riot police officers during an anti-austerity demonstration in Frankfurt May 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Alex Domanski

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - At least 20,000 demonstrators marched through Frankfurt on Saturday in a peaceful protest against austerity measures implemented to tackle the intensifying euro zone debt crisis.

Police closed off main roads in the centre of Frankfurt and set up check points on highways around the city as part of a heavy security operation to protect Germany's financial capital.

The protesters are angry at the misery they say governments are inflicting on people with their response to the crisis, which has intensified since inconclusive elections in Greece this month fueled concerns about its future in the euro zone.

"We're protesting against the Europe-wide policy of impoverishment by the troika," said a spokeswoman for the 'Blockupy' anti-capitalist movement, who put the number of protesters at 25,000. Police said there were 20,000.

The troika refers to European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, and European Union officials who are supervising bailout programs extended to Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

The Frankfurt-based European Central Bank (ECB) is at the centre of the policy response to the crisis and has faced calls from politicians, investors and protesters to do more.

The central bank says it has already headed off a major credit crunch with unprecedented funding operations in December and February that unleashed over 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) into the financial system.

Saturday's march - the final demonstration in a four-day-long 'Blockupy' protest - passed off peacefully and without police detaining any demonstrators.

The protest followed a legal scrap between activists and authorities over whether the demonstrations should be allowed to proceed.

A court on Monday gave the go-ahead for a rave dance party organized by protesters on Wednesday and Saturday's protest, but ruled against demonstrations taking place on other days. Several hundred activists were detained earlier in the week for defying that ban.

(Reporting by Till Weber, Ludwig Burger and Paul Carrel; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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Comments (5)
usagadfly wrote:
As in the USA, trillions in tax money poured into banks and other private financial entities is generally unaccounted for by the recipients. The assumed behavior of financiers is not monitored. They are permitted to treat the money as a private financial windfall, which is what it is.

The public gets robbed to keep the rich from losing some of their money due to their own bad financial decisions. This is very bad politics and the very heart of crony capitalism.

May 19, 2012 10:45am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Crash866 wrote:
Not that I love the banks…think what the alternative would have been…a world wide protracted DEPRESSION the likes the world has NEVER seen…

May 19, 2012 11:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Tiu wrote:
A trillion fictional euro’s, made real by fiat, to be spent now shoring up existing politicians and associated parasites and to be paid for some time later when the aforementioned politicians and associated parasites have left the scene.
The consequences will be ugly.

May 19, 2012 6:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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