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German Chancellor arrives in Athens for high-profile visit
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived at Athens airport just after 1 p.m. (11.00 GMT) on Tuesday for an eagerly expected visit that has generated international attention, the chancellor's first visit to the east Mediterranean country since the unprecedented eurozone and economic crisis devastated Greece after October 2009.
She was greeted at the airport by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, before receiving head of state honours.amna
Top government ministers on hand at the airport included Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis.
German Deputy Labour Minister Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, the head of a task force in Greece to transfer know-how and experience in public administration reforms, accompanied the German chancellor.amna
Draconian security measures are in place as Samaras and Merkel head for the Greek prime minister's Maximos Mansion office for private talks, followed by contacts of the respective delegations. Joint statements are scheduled for after 4 p.m. local time, with the German chancellor then set to walk a few metres to the presidential mansion and her meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias.
SOURCE: ATHENS NEWS AGENCY