‘Blockupy’ Protests Break Out in Frankfurt as ECB Opens New BuildingPosted: March 18, 2015
FRANKFURT—Scattered incidents of violence broke out Wednesday across Germany’s financial capital alongside demonstrations against austerity timed to the inauguration of the European Central Bank’s new headquarters.
While most parts of Frankfurt remained peaceful, a policeman on patrol said some police cars had been set on fire and some protesters burned tires. Police used water cannon on some protesters.
‘European unity is being strained. People are going through very difficult times.’
—ECB President Mario Draghi
ECB President Mario Draghi defended the bank’s policies at the inauguration ceremony, warning that moving toward more isolation and nationalization wouldn’t solve Europe’s problems.
“European unity is being strained. People are going through very difficult times,” Mr. Draghi said in prepared remarks at the inauguration.
“As an EU institution that has played a central role throughout the crisis, the ECB has become a focal point for those frustrated with this situation,” Mr. Draghi noted. “This may not be a fair charge—our action has been aimed precisely at cushioning the shocks suffered by the economy.”
Still, given that the ECB covers all of the 19-member eurozone, “We must listen very carefully to what all our citizens are saying,” he said.
“Blockupy” activists have announced plans to gather around the ECB’s new building—which cost more than €1 billion ($1.06 billion) to build, up from an earlier estimate of €850 million—to obstruct streets with sit-ins and blockades….(read more)
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- Merkel to meet Draghi on Tuesday in Berlin for euro zone talks (channelnewsasia.com)
- Police barricade European Central Bank ahead of protests (thetandd.com)
- Police say 10,000 expected at anti-austerity protest at European Central Bank headquarters (canadianbusiness.com)
- 350 arrested as protest in Germany turns violent (wdsu.com)