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Across Europe, protesters call for solidarity with Greece

June 21, 2015

Brussels and Amsterdam have joined London, France, Germany and Italy in hosting mass rallies in support of cash-strapped Greece. Demonstrators said the financial sector must take responsibility for the damage it caused.

Solidaritätsbekundungen für Griechenland in Brüssel
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/V. Mayo

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Brussels on Sunday at the same time as hundreds of similarly minded protestors crowded the streets of Amsterdam, rounding out a weekend of anti-austerity solidarity with Greece that also saw protests in France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The protests come on the eve of an emergency summit where Athens is scheduled to meet with its creditors in a last-ditch attempt to resolve its debt crisis before it's forced to default on its loans.

"This crisis was caused by the financial sector, not by the Greek people," Manolis Glezos, a Greek parliamentarian and World War II resistance hero, told the crowd in Amsterdam.

"It's the financial sector that has to pay, not the Greek people."

Sebastien Franco, the organizer of the Brussels demonstration, which attracted over 3,500 participants, expressed a similar sentiment. "Austerity is not working, it reduces the income of poor people in the name of reimbursement to creditors…who continue to enrich themselves," he told Belgian television.

Athens saw its second anti-austerity rally in the past week on Sunday, calling on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to reject pressure from creditors to accept continued austerity in exchange for bailout funds.

Carrying placards that read "the people will not be blackmailed" and "the country is not for sale," thousands of protesters filled the street in front of parliament.

es/cmk (AFP, Reuters)