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Hundreds of people protest Euro 2012 games cost in Poland

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The logo of Euro 2012 football championships co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland

Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in western Poland to protest against the Euro 2012 football championships underway in the country, chanting “bread not games.”

Nearly 500 protesters rallied in Poznan on Sunday against the Euro 2012 games arguing that too much money was spent organizing the games.

“We’re protesting against the current policy. At a time of crisis, when there is less and less social housing, we are spending millions of zloty on building football stadia,” protest organizer Katarzyna Czarnota said.

In the five-year run-up to the 16-nation quadrennial championships co-hosted by Ukraine, Warsaw saw very little public dissent against Euro 2012, which started on Friday with the opening match between Poland and Greece in the capital.

In Ukraine however, the detention of opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has cast gloom over Euro 2012.

In October 2011, a Ukrainian court sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison after convicting her on several charges, including the abuse of power by signing a gas deal with Russia in 2009.

The former premier has been on a hunger strike since April 20 in protest over her alleged mistreatment by prison guards.

In protest to the treatment of Ukraine’s imprisoned former prime minister, top European officials and some EU governments, including Germany, have boycotted the competition.


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