``Violence erupted in parts of Germany's financial capital Wednesday alongside demonstrations timed to disrupt the inauguration of the European Central Bank's new headquarters.

Thousands of activists descended on Frankfurt to protest against austerity, some of whom set cars alight or shattered glass near the new building. By noon, police had detained about 350 protesters and arrested five, a police spokeswoman said. At least 90 police and firefighters were injured by stones or tear gas.


The activists, joined by representatives from leftist political parties including Greece's Syriza, Spain's Podemos and Germany's Die Linke, say the ECB is partly responsible for enforcing policies that activists say are impoverishing parts of Europe.

Austerity has resurfaced in the debate in Europe following Syriza's Greek election victory in January. The party is negotiating with the ECB, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund--the so-called "troika" of international creditors--over efforts by the country to overhaul the economy.... "We can't always make cuts at poor people's expense and call them lazy Greeks, but we need to stand by in solidarity with them," [a protestor[ said.

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