Several thousand Germans take to streets over financial crisis

Several thousand Germans take to streets over financial crisisBerlin/Frankfurt - Several thousand demonstrators took to the streets of Berlin and Frankfurt on Saturday to protest the measures being taken to tackle the global financial crisis in Germany and other countries.

"We will not pay for your crisis," was the motto of the campaign spearheaded by the anti-globalization network Attac and including unions, environment groups and Germany's Left Party.

Demonstrators said banks must be held to account for the crisis, rather than allowing employees and the world's poor to suffer as a result of the economic downturn.

A speaker for Attac said roughly 15,000 people had come to the Frankfurt demonstration. Several hundred police protected the entrances to office blocks in Germany's banking capital.

In Berlin, police estimated that several thousand people were taking part in the protest.

On pamphlets and placards, the demonstrators called for solidarity and an environmentally sustainable global economic system.

The protests came ahead of a meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) leading economies in London on April 2.

The marches in Germany echoed events in London the same day, where thousands of people gathered from around the world to stage a mass protest.

More than 150 trade unions, peace activist groups and environmental protection organizations were behind the demo, set to be the starting signal for a series of protests in the days leading up to the London summit. (dpa)