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Hundreds march near new European bank HQ in Frankfurt

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 01:32

Hundreds of members of the Blockupy movement march near the new headquarters of the European Central Bank, after clashes break out between riot police and anti-capitalist protesters. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Anti-capitalist protesters clashed with riot police near the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt on Wednesday and set fire to barricades and cars, casting a pall over the ceremonial opening of the billion-euro skyscraper. Some 94 police officers were injured by stones and tear gas flung by a violent minority from within the 3,500 protesters, police said. Rally organizers said there were 7,000 protesters, more than 100 of whom were injured by police. Seven police cars were set on fire, streets were blocked by burning stacks of tires and trash cans, and shops were damaged in the city center. Dark smoke billowed in front of the 185-metre high ECB towers and over Frankfurt. Police used water cannons to try to make a path through the mass of black-clad protesters to the entrance of the building, blocked off from the street by barricades. A total of 550 protesters were detained. German leaders condemned the violence while defending the right to protest against the ECB. The protest was organized by a group called Blockupy - named after the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. Blockupy says it represents grass-roots critics of supranational financial institutions including the "troika": the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, whose inspectors monitor countries such as Greece and Cyprus that have received international bailouts. The ECB is also influential as a provider of finance to the banks of struggling countries and has in recent weeks sanctioned a drip feed of extra emergency finance to Greece's lenders. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis last week criticized ECB policy towards Athens as "asphyxiating", a criticism also made by the protest organizers.

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Hundreds march near new European bank HQ in Frankfurt

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 01:32