Protesters have clashed with police in Athens during a demonstration against German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s two-day visit to Greece.

The riots were sparked by the German Chancellor’s arrival in Athens on Thursday for talks with Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Mr Tsipras said the visit marked “the end of a difficult cycle between our two countries”.

Germany has been blamed by some Greeks for tough austerity measures imposed after the country required a series of bailouts following the 2008 financial crash.

Greece was forced to turn to the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in 2010 due to spiralling government debt.

The country received three bailout packages in return for unpopular austerity measures, which saw tax hikes, falling wages and spending cuts.

Greece finally emerged from the controversial programme in 2018.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mrs Merkel told Greek newspaper Kathimerini: “I realise that the last few years have been very difficult for many people in Greece.”

But she said that the country has made “great progress”, adding: “Greece and Germany have close ties both via a plethora of bilateral relations and as partners in the EU and NATO.”