Security Tight in Athens for Merkel Visit



A near-complete ban on traffic, including pedestrians during several points, will be imposed on in central Athens on Tuesday as part of security measures in force for the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The tight security measures include a ban on open-air gatherings and rallies, except at designated sites, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; the German chancellor is expected to arrive at noon and leave at 7 p.m.
Police said the city center along the Vassilissis Sofias and Vassileos Konstantinou corridor, from roughly the Temple of Zeus to Ampelokipi and from Ardittou and Spirou Mercouri in Pagrati into parts of Kolonaki, would be cordoned off. Security will also be tight along the route from the Athens airport to the center.
The Panepistimio, Syntagma, Evangelismos, Megaro Musikis, Ampelokipi, and Katechaki metro stations will also close at 10 a.m.
Demonstrations protesting the Merkel visit and austerity policies are being held at Omonia and Syntagma. The civil servants union ADEDY and GSEE, the largest labor umbrella, have called for work stoppages from noon to 3 p.m., while buses and trolleys in central Athens will not run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.




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