Athens was on lockdown Tuesday for the landmark visit of Angela Merkel to Greece -- the first time the German chancellor has been to the financially stricken country since the debt crisis erupted almost three years ago. Since then, she's become a hated figure to many Greeks, seen as the driver of the austerity measures that have forced wrenching economic reforms.
On Tuesday, some 25,000 union and opposition party protesters massed in the capital to protest against her visit, many comparing her to a Hitler and waving Nazi flags. Thousands of police fanned out across Athens to create a safety zone, in which no protesters were allowed, for Merkel's meetings with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and President Carolos Papoulias. During the meetings, Merkel acknowledged the suffering taking place in Greece as a result of the reforms, but maintained that they were necessary to put the country back on the path toward prosperity. Here, we take a look atsome of the most radical protesters waiting to greet the chancellor.
Above, a protester holds a placard of Merkel featuring an Adolf Hitler moustache near the Greek parliament in Athens during a demonstration against her visit on Oct. 9.