Police Barricade European Central Bank Ahead Of Protests
Frankfurt, Germany police have barricaded and barbed wired the European Central Bank headquarters in preparation for demonstrations against “government austerity and capitalism.”
The Blockupy alliance claims activists are planning a blockade of the new headquarters of the ECB ahead of a ceremony Wednesday to inaugurate the building, as well to disrupt so-called “capitalist business as usual.”
Approximately 10,000 people are expected to show up for a rally in Frankfurt’s main square, the Roemerberg, a popular business center in the city. Organizers are chartering a special train to bring demonstrators from Berlin to Frankfurt, while others are busing in from all over Europe.
Frankfurt police expect most demonstrators to be peaceful, but violence-prone elements could use the crowds as cover.
The ECB, along with the European Commission and International Monetary Fund, has been dubbed a part of the “troika” monitoring compliance with the conditions of bailout loans for financially troubled countries such as Greece. These conditions entail spending restraint and reducing deficits, and are aimed at reducing debt but have also been blamed for unemployment and slow growth.
Greece’s recently elected left-wing government claims such policies as exercised by the ECB have started a “humanitarian crisis” of poverty for pensioners and others.
ECB President Mario Draghi wants more spending by governments in good financial shape such as Germany.
The ECB says it plans to be “fully operational.”