|A jubilant display of fireworks greets the opening of the ECB's new Franfurt digs.|
Dozens of people have been hurt and some 350 people arrested as anti-austerity demonstrators clashed with police in the German city of Frankfurt. Police cars were set alight and stones were thrown in a protest against the opening of a new base for the European Central Bank (ECB). Violence broke out close to the city's Alte Oper concert hall hours before the ECB building's official opening. "Blockupy" activists are expected to attend a rally later on Wednesday. In earlier disturbances, police in riot gear used water cannon to clear hundreds of anti-capitalist protesters from the streets around the new ECB headquarters.Call it the European Cup of Anti-Austerity Protests. Moreover, it certainly doesn't look good that "Europe's central bank" has to be ringed with barbed wire to separate it from the folks it supposedly serves:
Organisers were bringing a left-wing alliance of protesters from across Germany and the rest of Europe to voice their anger at the ECB's role in austerity measures in EU member states, most recently Greece. The bank, in charge of managing the euro, is also responsible for framing eurozone policy and, along with the IMF and European Commission is part of a troika which has set conditions for bailouts in Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus.Uniting Europe has long been an elusive dream for the EU's architects. Ironically, could it be that they may be able to do so if these leftists succeed in getting more Europeans on their side in opposition to the European project? It is certainly a frightening prospect that you cannot rule out.
A spokesman for the Blockupy movement said the troika was responsible for austerity measures which have pushed many into poverty. Police set up a cordon of barbed wire outside the bank's new 185m (600ft) double-tower skyscraper, next to the River Main.
MarketWatch has more scenes from the battle in Frankfurt.