G7 summit protesters block roads as world leaders gather
Protesters have blocked roads as the leaders of the Group of Seven industrialised democracies arrived in the Bavarian Alps to begin a two-day summit.
Several hundred demonstrators began hiking early today from the resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen to get near the security perimeter around the Schloss Elmau hotel, the secluded summit venue five miles away.
Some 22,000 police from around Germany were brought in to keep the protesters away from the hotel as the delegations from Britain, the US, Germany, France, Canada, Japan and Italy arrived. Journalists were flown by helicopter to the venue to avoid delays on the roads due to the protesters.
There was a short clash between protesters and police during a demonstration yesterday but it was otherwise relatively peaceful.
EU President Donald Tusk said the G-7 protests were a sign of a healthy democracy.
He said says the Group of Seven world leaders have no need to apologise for their meeting, saying the gathering of industrialised democracies is "the best guarantee" that freedom and pluralism will survive.
Mr Tusk said that in the G-7 nations "people can demonstrate, can think what they want, say what they want and even look like they want".