Thousands of Greeks Protest U.S.

KDean75206 at KDean75206 at
Sat Nov 13 17:30:41 MST 1999

Thousands of Greeks Protest U.S.

.c The Associated Press

 ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Thousands of jubilant demonstrators chanting
``Clinton, Fascist, Murderer'' marched through Athens on Saturday after
similar anti-U.S. protests led President Clinton to delay a visit here.

Gathering on the day originally slated for Clinton's arrival, an estimated
10,000-strong crowd marched from the city center to the American embassy in a
rally staged by leftist and pacifist groups and supported by the Greek
Communist Party.

The march, under a heavy police presence, ended peacefully.

Clinton had originally planned a three-day visit to Greece. But after
protests broke out in the country a week ago, spurred by lingering resentment
at the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia earlier this year, the White House
postponed the visit a week and shortened it to just over a day.

The news was welcomed as a victory by protest groups, but brought
embarrassment on Premier Costas Simitis' Socialist government, which has
further tightened security and urged Greeks to recognize the importance of
Clinton's visit.

Anti-American feeling was revived in NATO-member Greece during the 78-day
bombing against Yugoslavia in the Kosovo crisis, when daily street rallies
were held in Athens.

Many Greeks sympathized with fellow-Orthodox Serbs during the conflict and
remain angry at Washington for its widely perceived support of a Greek
dictatorship which imposed military rule from 1967-74.

Despite that ill-feeling, Simitis is hoping to secure continued U.S. support
for Greek efforts to boost investments in the Balkans and further improve
strained ties with neighboring Turkey.

More demonstrations are planned next Friday, when Clinton is due to arrive in

AP-NY-11-13-99 1643EST

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