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Nazi flag
Demonstrators burn a flag emblazoned with a swastika during a demonstration against the visit of German Chancellor Angela MerkelReuters
Naked rally
A naked protester runs past the parliament in Syntagma Square in Athens during a violent protest against the visit of Germany's Chancellor Angela MerkelReuters
Demonstrators are arrested by riot policemen during a protest against the visit to Greece by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel in AthensReuters
A protester is arrested by riot police in AthensReuters
Demonstrators dressed as Nazis wave a swastika flag as they ride in an open-top car in Syntagma Square in AthensReuters
Naked sprint
A naked protester sprints in front of some of the 7,000 poicemen deployed to secure Angela Merkel's visit to AthensReuters
Taken Away
Riot police arrest a protester in front of the Bank of Greece in AthensReuters
Riot police stand guard outside the parliament in AthensReuters
A demonstrator throws a stone against riot policeReuters
The Meeting
Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras listens to Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel during their press conference at the Maximos mansion in AthensReuters

Thousands of anti-austerity demonstrators gathered in Athens to protest against the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel - the woman they blame for much of their financial hardship.

Police scuffled with protesters and fired teargas in response to demonstrators throwing stones and petrol bombs.

Seven thousand police and security officers, including anti-terrorist units and rooftop snipers, were deployed to secure Merkel's safety.

Streets in central Athens were closed and rallies prohibited in the town centre and near streets Merkel had to pass to reach Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's office.

It was the first time since the end of the military junta in 1974 that a ban on street rallies was imposed in Greece.

Three separate protests took place in front of the Greek parliament and workers were called out on a three-hour strike

The economic crisis has rekindled anti-German sentiment that goes back to the Nazi occupation of Greece during the Second World War.

Some demonstrators dressed up as Nazi officers, burned Third Reich flags and chanted slogans such as "No to the Fourth Reich".

Public order minister Nikos Dendias called for calm. "I call on all Greeks and whoever wants to protest to, firstly, safeguard the peace of the city and, above all, the country's image abroad," he said.

But some politicians warned that merkel coulkd expect a rough ride. Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Greek opposition party Syriza, said: "[Merkel] does not come to support Greece, which her policies have brought to the brink. She comes to save the corrupt, disgraced and servile political system. We will give her the welcome she deserves."