Protests off limits for Greek presidency kick-off

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Associated Press

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 7 at 12:05 PM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities have imposed an 18-hour ban on protests across the center of Athens during events planned Wednesday to mark the inauguration of the nation's six-month presidency of the European Union.

The order announced by the police will take effect at 6:00 a.m. (0400GMT) Wednesday, hours before EU commissioners, led by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, attend the Athens events.

Greece is hoping to emerge from a grueling, six-year recession during its presidency, and negotiate a landmark deal with bailout creditors to make its massive national debt sustainable.

A similar protest ban was imposed last year during a visit to Athens by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

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