Brussels: Solidarity Protest for Greeks and Against Austerity

protest-austerityA protest was organized in Brussels on Saturday evening in solidarity of the Greek people and against austerity measures. According to local media, only 150 protesters were present at first but their number quickly rose to 400.

The protest was organized with the initiative of 25 leftist organizations, as well as social and youth movements that are active in Belgium. Among them was the Greek Diaspora movement “Initiative de Solidarité avec la Grèce qui resiste Bruxelles” (Solidarity Initiative to Greece that Resists Brussels).

The protest march started from Madou square and headed to the German and Spanish embassies, and finally to Luxembourg Square, in front of the European Parliament. The protesters shouted slogans against austerity, the Prime Ministers of Greece, Spain, Belgium and Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as against the Troika.

Upon their arrival outside the German Embassy, protesters denounced Merkel’s role to the austerity policies, while outside the Spanish Embassy, they shouted solidarity slogans for the Spanish People’s Party, Podemos.

They requested the annulment of the EU/IMF austerity programs, as well as a social emergency plan, the Greek debt audit and illegal debt write-off. Meanwhile, the protesters condemned the racist and xenophobic EU policy.

“We fight against the anti-social policies and authoritarianism in Greece and Belgium,” said protest committee spokesman Gilles Maufroy to Belgian agency Belga. “Misery has grown in Greece in recent years. After the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ events, we do not forget the social problems that sometimes stem from extremism. We want to continue the social struggle against measures taken by the Belgian government.”

According to a press release issued by “Initiative de Solidarité avec la Grèce qui resiste Bruxelles,” the reason behind the protest was the intimidation and extortion campaign that recently took place in Europe ahead of the January 25 elections in Greece.