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Athens On High Security Alert Ahead Of Merkel Visit



ATHENS - Some 7,000 police, including reinforcements brought in from across Greece, will be ensuring extra-tight security during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s first visit to Athens since the breakout of the financial crisis.

The government fears the visit on Tuesday could unleash hostility from citizens who hold the Chancellor responsible for the harsh austerity measures their country faces.

In addition to the parliament building and Syntagma Square in central Athens, the German Embassy and Goethe Institute will receive special protection, as will the airport and the hotel where Merkel is based for the six-hour visit.

Greece’s two largest unions have announced a three-hour strike and large demonstration in downtown Athens. The Communists and largest opposition party Syriza have also called for demonstrations. The right-wing, anti-austerity party Independent Greeks intends to demonstrate in front of the Germany Embassy.

Chancellor Merkel’s visit takes place as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s government negotiates 31.5 billion euros worth of further aid for Greece -- which is on the brink of bankruptcy -- with the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

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Influencer Union? The Next Labor Rights Battle May Be For Social Media Creators

With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor.

​photograph of a smartphone on a selfie stick

Smartphone on a selfie stick

Steve Gale/Unsplash
David Craig and Stuart Cunningham

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

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For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

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