Thousands attend Dublin rally to show their solidarity with Greece
Over 2,000 people poured into Dublin’s city centre to show their solidarity with the Greek people ahead of their country’s bailout referendum on Sunday.
In a mass demonstration organised by the Greek Solidarity Committee, anti-austerity protesters and members of the Greek community in Ireland gathered at the Central Bank.
The theme of the march was “We say No too”, with organisers saying the rally was part of the “common battle against austerity in both countries.”
The rally was supported Sinn Féin, People Before Proift, the Anti-Austerity Alliance, as well as a number of Independent TDs and MEPs.
Broadcaster Eamon Dunphy came out in support of the movement on Friday, saying that “the EU is wrong, there’s no doubt about that”.
Under the banner 'Ireland Stands with Greece', the crowd heard speeches criticising the Troika and were asked to come together and support “unity among Greek citizens” ahead of the country’s referendum on whether to accept an austerity package from Europe in return for a bailout.
The demo made its way to the Dáil and then to the offices of European Commission in Dawson Street.
On Sunday, the people of Greece will be asked to vote Yes or No to financial measures put forward by the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank to address the nation’s debt crisis.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called on Greeks to vote 'No', claiming it will strengthen his position in negotiations with Europe, but Germany, France, Italy and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker have warned that such a vote could threaten Greece's place in the European Union.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis meanwhile accused his country's creditors of "terrorism”, saying that what “Brussels and the Troika want today is for the 'yes' (vote) to win so they could humiliate the Greeks."
After failing to reach a deal last weekend on an extension of its bailout programme, Greece's government closed the country's banks and banned anyone from withdrawing more than €60 from their bank accounts.