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Politics bubbles beneath Greek-German clash

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 01:41

June 22 - Friday's second Euro 2012 quarter-final match will take on a subtextual dual as well, as the highly indebted Greeks take on European paymasters Germany. Joel Flynn reports.

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They face a Herculean task. A whole nation will be looking to a team spearheaded by a Mr Samaras on Friday to take on Germany and emerge victorious. But, fortunately for new President Antonis Samaras, it is his namesake, Celtic forward Georgios, that will hopefully be the focus of attention. The subtext of the Euro 2012 quarter-final match offers intrigue beyond the realms of the sport. German, widely seen as the paymaster of Europe, has provided the majority of funds used to help bailout the Greek economy. In return Germany demanded that Greece adopt harsh austerity measures, and many Greeks blame Germany for their hardship. German chancellor Angela Merkel is due to attend the game. Though it's still unclear whether she will take the opportunity to meet the new Greek president. Neither set of fans seemed overly concerned by the politics, as they arrived in Gdansk ahead of the match. (SOUNDBITE) (German) BJÖRN HERTELT SAYING: "To be honest. I am not interested in that at all. To mix up politics and football is not acceptable for me. The politicians do not do a good job anyway and to reflect that on sports a no-go." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) DIMITRIS ANDRIOTIS FROM ATHENS SAYING: "Actually I think there is no room for politics in sports. Obviously there is a special situation between Greece and Germany but in sports there is no room for politics." The Greek football team have been praised for their "never-say-die" attitude at this tournament. Though few can say how the team's performance will affect the rest of the country. Joel Flynn, Reuters

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Politics bubbles beneath Greek-German clash

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 01:41