'Blockupy' protesters surround ECB in Frankfurt

Protesters and police face-off outside the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt am Main, central Germany on May 31, 2013 Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Frankfurt's financial district

Protesters from the anti-capitalist "Blockupy" movement have surrounded the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.

The demonstrators are angry at what they say is the ECB's role in encouraging eurozone governments to impose austerity measures to cut debt.

German police said at least 1,000 people had gathered in the rain in the financial district by Friday morning, linking arms and blocking streets.

The ECB said it had taken measures to remain operational despite the protest.

Police said they had helped some employees enter the bank, but it is not clear where most are currently working.

Blockupy has called for two days of action to protest against what it calls the "poverty policy" of the German government and the so-called "troika" - the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund - which is overseeing bailouts of debt-afflicted eurozone nations.

The Blockupy protesters also plan to block access to other financial institutions in Frankfurt, including Deutsche Bank.

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