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Over 5000 police were in Athens to ensure that the presidency ceremony went off without disruption, but that did not prevent Greeks coming out to let the visiting EU representatives know what they thought about Brussels’ formula for getting their country out of trouble. The leaders of the left and right wing parties did not attend.“The European Union is the main mechanism for the imposition of austerity, for the imposition of extreme measures against the working majority in most European countries. The European Union is responsible for the acute humanitarian and social crisis in Greece,” said one protester.As tempers flared clashes took place with police. Protests had been banned near the ceremony, and when crowds tried to get to the presidential palace, they were forced back with tear gas.